A British charity worker in India has been blinded and paralysed by a potentially lethal snakebite.
Ian Jones, from the Isle of Wight, is in intensive care after being bitten by a king cobra in a village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
His family described him as a “fighter” and said they hoped the blindness and paralysis were temporary.
Mr Jones has previously suffered from malaria, dengue fever and coronavirus while in India, his son said.
Friends and family are fundraising to help pay for Mr Jones’s medical expenses.
The former healthcare worker was running a charity-backed social enterprise aimed at helping craftspeople trade their way out of poverty.
Mr Jones’s son Seb said his father, despite suffering from multiple illnesses before the bite, “remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work to help the people that needed his support”.
He said: “He had not been able to travel home due to the pandemic and as a family we understood his desire to continue to support the many people who relied on him.
“We were naturally concerned about him though, and then 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.”
Community Action Isle of Wight is raising funds to cover Mr Jones’s medical costs and transport home.
Mike Bulpitt from the charity said: “Ian has put so much on the line to continue to support the people out in India that he works with, living in difficult conditions and being away from his own family and friends on the island for most of the year.
“He is now facing a long road to recovery and we are appealing for any fundraising support people can give to help us meet his medical costs, until he can eventually be brought home.”