A surfing great fighting for his life in a Bali hospital after a horror infection will be urgently flown to Darwin after an online campaign.
Mark “Richo” Richardson spent 11 days in intensive care on the Indonesian holiday island as he awaited urgently needed blood donations.
Despite securing 10 bags of blood from the Red Cross, the Denpasar hospital refused to accept the donation, prompting Richardson’s medevac.
Friend Fiona Meyer said Richardson would be flown out by charity LifeFlight, touching back down in Australia about 11pm on Wednesday.
“Blood is being sent from Townsville to Darwin now. As soon as he is in the ambulance leaving hospital he will receive blood,” she said.
“Mark will have to spend significant time in Darwin receiving treatment as they have done nothing here (…) they’ve barely kept him alive.”
In an Instagram post, Richardson said he had struggled to secure types A and O negative blood in Indonesia while he awaited a medevac.
About 3am, Ms Meyers revealed bags of blood would be flown directly from Brisbane after the surfer’s predicament was widely shared.
Shockingly, they never arrived in Indonesia after Ms Meyers claimed the hospital refused international blood despite a verbal agreement.
“The hospital in Bali has refused to accept the 10 bags of blood that was to arrive from the Gold Coast today (Wednesday),” Ms Meyers said.
“Absolutely outrageous (…) Therefore (we have) no choice but to get him out ASAP, even though he’s not stable.”
Ms Meyers earlier said Richardson received only a few donations for “unknown reasons” and legally needed certain haemoglobin levels to fly.
She described the difficulties they’d had as “frustrating” for Richardson who had travelled to Bali for 40 years and had never been sick before.
Based on the Gold Coast, Richardson rose to prominence by winning four Australian surfing championships before a controversial doping scandal.
Richardson was stripped of his 2011 world masters title two years later for testing positive to cannabis, a first for competitive surfing.
He then coached surfers like Joel Parkinson and Courtney Conlogue.
Earlier this week, Ms Meyers established a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money and blood donations for Richardson.
As of Wednesday, the campaign had raised a whopping $33,000, with individual donations as high as $1000.
“It goes without saying Mark will need every cent that has been so generously donated for his recovery,” Ms Meyers said.
“Thanks again to everyone in our amazing country that has got behind this.”
In an earlier post, Richardson described his plight as being that of “just a loving dad trying to get home to (his) son”.