CHIANG MAI - Speaking from a wheelchair, a former Canadian teacher laments how stray bullets turned his life upside down last June. Nicolas Brown, 36, is now paraplegic and running out of money.
"I hope I can get back to work," the gunshot victim said from his rented room in Chiang Mai's Muang district yesterday. But carrying on the activities of daily living now takes him much more time.
"I need help. I want to get back to a normal life," he said.
Brown's name appeared in news reports last year after he was shot at a nightspot in Chiang Mai.
The alleged gunman was a sixth-year student at Chiang Mai University's Faculty of Dentistry.
While the suspect initially paid for Brown's medical bill, he stopped paying months later. He has not offered any compensation either, according to Brown.
In a bid to keep going, Brown created www.gofundme.com to raise funds for himself. His account, which is under the title "Nic Brown - Gunshot Victim In Thailand", has raised US$4,735 (S$5,930) since January. "Most donors are foreigners," he said. He also created a Facebook page under the name of "Justice for Nic".
On the page, he described himself as the victim of a random and brutal shooting. "I spent six months in a Thai hospital recovering from multiple surgeries and a nasty pressure ulcer on my tailbone that wore down the bone [the sacrum bone was exposed]," he said on the page.
He continued: "I am not one to normally ask for handouts or personal charity, but under these extreme circumstances, and under the advice of those who care, I have decided to reach out to the larger global community for help. "Anything you offer would be invaluable towards easing the extreme duress I am under. All money would go towards medical bills. Thank you very much."
Brown said he held no grudges against the gunman. "All I want now is to have a family and a job. I want to live a simple, normal life.
"I will do my best. But I know things are not going to be easy because my circumstances have changed a lot."
He said he was also worried about his elderly mother.