Mon. Nov 23rd, 2020

Ian Jones

image copyrightPA Media image captionIan Jones had also suffered malaria, dengue fever and coronavirus while out in India

A British charity worker in India has been blinded and paralysed by a potentially lethal snakebite.

Ian Jones, from the Isle of Wight, was bitten by a cobra in a village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

His family said he was “very frightened” by his condition although they hoped his blindness and leg paralysis were only temporary.

Mr Jones has previously suffered from malaria, dengue fever and coronavirus while in India, his son said.

The former healthcare worker was running a charity-backed social enterprise aimed at helping craftspeople trade their way out of poverty.

Claire Robertson, from Community Action Isle of Wight which runs the enterprise, said: “Ian was living temporarily in the social enterprise’s warehouse in Jodphur so he could be closer to the people he supports.

“He was in an area of the warehouse that he’d made his living quarters when his adopted dog, Rocky, started barking, and when he reached out to soothe him the cobra, alerted by his sudden movement, bit him twice.”

Ian Jones with Rocky

image copyrightFamily Handout image captionIan Jones was running a charity helping Indian craftspeople

Mr Jones’s family said he spent nearly two weeks in intensive care but had left the hospital in India due to the high number of Covid patients.

Community Action Isle of Wight has raised more than £12,000 on a fundraising website to cover Mr Jones’s medical costs and transport home.

His son Sebastian said his father “remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work to help the people that needed his support”.

“When we heard he had also suffered what is usually a fatal snakebite on top of all that he had been through, we honestly could not believe it,” he said.

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