An urgent appeal to bring home a British holidaymaker who was shot in the head during a burglary at his parent’s Antigua restaurant has topped £50,000 – enough to fly him off the island.
Chris Tester, 37, is continuing to fight for his life after being caught up in an armed raid at the beachfront eaterie during Christmas Day celebrations on the Caribbean island.
He remains in a coma suffering neurological damage and his condition has been described as critical but stable.
His family and friends have been desperately trying to raise funds to transfer him as the local hospital in Antigua is not equipped to deal with his condition.
And they have announced he is due to fly to Guadeloupe this morning (Wednesday) after the appeal hit £51,000.
He will remain on the French colony to be stabilised – but the family say they still need another £40,000 for his full medical evacuation back to the UK.
His father Tony has also shed further light on the tragic events at the Boxer Shack restaurant and revealed that his son had been trying to protect his mother Gill when he was shot.
He said the raider had initially grabbed her hair before pushing her through a door.
He added: “He then pointed a gun at me at me and said: ‘Give me cash.'”
Tony said he was ready to hand over the money when Chris came running in.
He said: “He may well have, as a natural instinct, tried to protect his mother and the guy stood there and shot him.”
The bullet hit Chris just below the left side of his temple. The shooter then fled and local reports say he remains at large.
Tony added: “We want to fly him back to his home where we know there is expertise to help him.”
Chris, of Torquay, Devon, was nearing the end of a 19-day trip to visit his ex-pat parents.
He works for specialist luxury boat dealer Birchell Marine Ltd.
The fund raising campaign was set up by friend Charlotte Williams.
In the latest update she said; “Chris will be flown to a French island this morning (Wednesday) to receive the additional treatment he so desperately needs.
“We’ve a long way to go for his recuperation and it’s no small part down to the services in Antigua who have been incredible.
“Words cannot express how much your support means to Chris and his family. It’s astonishing how much love and generosity you have to give.
“We cannot thank you enough, but we do, from the very bottom of our hearts.
“But we still need you. Time is of the essence. Please please can you help us to raise funds for him.
“They need to raise £90,000. It will save his life. Please help us perform a Christmas miracle.”