Joe Thornley died after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. Picture: Facebook
Joe Thornley died after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. Picture: Facebook

Tradie dies after $6k surgery

A DEVASTATED mother has spoken out after her tradie son died hours after undergoing budget weight-loss surgery overseas.

Builder Joe Thornley, from Derbyshire in England, travelled to Turkey for gastric surgery, which cost just under $A6000 compared with up to $A19,700 had the procedure been performed in the UK.

But according to the Daily Star, the 25-year-old messaged his parents Julie and Michael Thornley shortly afterwards and said he was in "a lot of pain".

Mrs Thornley told her son to take some painkillers, but it ended up being his last communication with his parents, and several days later, authorities confirmed their son had died.

While a Turkish death certificate said Mr Thornley died of natural causes, a post-mortem carried out in the UK found the young man died as a result of internal bleeding.

The surgery was thousands of dollars cheaper in Turkey. Picture: Facebook
The surgery was thousands of dollars cheaper in Turkey. Picture: Facebook

Julie Thornley is now warning others of the dangers of cut-price surgeries overseas.

"It's just not worth it. I don't want another family to go through what we've been through," she told the Daily Star.

"He was a 25-year-old with his whole life ahead of him.

"Now I can't stop thinking of all the other young people who want a butt lift or want something (done) to their face. I hope ­anyone considering this reads our story and doesn't take it lightly."

According to the Australian Government's Smartraveller website, more than 15,000 citizens travel overseas for medical tourism - a term given to the practice of travelling overseas for a procedure - each year.

While most people don't suffer serious complications, the website states that "unfortunately, things don't always go as planned".

A post-mortem carried out in the UK found Mr Thornley died after suffering internal bleeding. Picture: Facebook
A post-mortem carried out in the UK found Mr Thornley died after suffering internal bleeding. Picture: Facebook

If you are considering opting for medical tourism, the website urges you to gather the information you need before you leave Australia, including researching the hospital, procedure and surgeon performing it to ensure you can make an informed choice.

The most common types of procedures Australians undergo overseas are cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and surgery, heart surgery, in vitro fertilisation and other fertility treatments, surrogacy, gender reassignment, stem-cell therapy and cancer treatments.

Many Australians who undergo procedures overseas do so to save money, with common destinations including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, South Korea, Turkey and Malaysia.


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