A British teacher who had a stroke while working in China has finally flown home thanks to his former pupils raising £54,000 in six hours.
Bob Allison, 68, was left paralysed across the left side of his body in January, sparking a desperate mission to get him home.
The popular geology teacher’s family hoped he would be repatriated to the UK but a combination of Covid restrictions, language barrier and mounting bills left him stranded.
They were told flights would cost at least £35,000 due to the restrictions, while his medical bills stood at more than £12,000.
Bob’s daughter Claire launched a GoFundMe page on March 15, raising £54,275 within just six hours – the majority being pledged by his former pupils.
The money was enough to pay for Bob’s medical bills and fund a flight home.
Bob finally arrived in the UK on Saturday and is now being treated at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Updating Bob’s supporters, Claire said: ‘I’m delighted to report that my dad arrived safely back into the UK this morning with the assistance of a Chinese repatriation team and is now being transferred to the Stroke Unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
‘I spoke to him briefly en route; he coped well with the journey and seems in good spirits.
‘Once again, thank you so much to everyone for your incredibly generous donations and supportive messages.
‘The funds raised have been invaluable in getting him home.
I will shortly be closing this page, but I’m sure my dad will be keen to convey his own thanks to everyone now that he is home.’
The fundraiser for Bob, who taught at schools in Worcester for four decades before moving to China last year, attracted dozens of emotional tributes from former pupils.
Lissa O’Grady, who donated £150, wrote: ‘Such an exceptional man.
My children and I (Matthew and Sarah) knew him from Chantry (School) days. ‘I also worked in the school office and saw how much he cared about the children.
Can’t tell you how much positive influence he had on our lives.’
Claire said she knew her dad was well respected but they ‘never imagined it would take off in the way it did’.
She added: ‘He was at the school for 40 years and was so well-loved by the students and their parents. ‘
We are really, really grateful for the donations and will give the excess to the Stroke Foundation.’