A 37-year-old British boat worker was shot in the head during a raid on his parents’ Antigua restaurant in the Caribbean
A 37-year-old British boat worker was shot in the head during a raid on his parents’ Antigua restaurant in the Caribbean.
Christopher Tester, who works for Birchell Marine Ltd in Torquay, Devon, was believed to have been defending his mother, Gill, from an armed intruder at the Boxer Shack restaurant on Christmas night.
A crowd funding page has so far raised nearly £105,000 towards the cost of flying Chris home for his ongoing care. Chris, who did not have travel insurance, is in a stable condition.
Jason Bond, co-director at Birchell Marine, told MBY: “Chris had worked with us for the past two seasons. He was a seasonal sub-contractor.
“He was due to return to us at the end of March for the season. He did most of our boat preparation and antifouling, working with our full-time engineering team. We were shocked to hear the terrible news on Christmas day and our thoughts are with his family,” he said.
Birchell Marine as a business made a contribution to the crowd funding as have all of the staff and directors individually. Many of the firm’s customers have also made donations, some sizable.
“Chris was a hardworking and loyal member of our team here at Birchell Marine and we remain upbeat that he will make the best recovery that he can.
“We will be away in London for the next 10 days so will not be able to visit him but on our return I am sure we will go to see for ourselves how he is getting on,” said Jason.
Friend Charlotte Williams, who organised the fundraising, said that Chris, having been brought out of an induced coma by doctors on the nearby island of Guadeloupe, was flown back to the UK in an air ambulance.
“Never in a million years did I think we would raise enough to get him home. It really has saved Chris’s life,” she told the BBC.
He arrived at Exeter Airport on Monday night, accompanied by his father Tony. Chris, who grew up in Brentwood, Essex, is being assessed by doctors at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Ms Williams said it was unclear what the long-term implications of Chris’s injuries could be.
“He landed back safely, but was very tired,” she said.
A statement from the Tester family on the crowd funding page reads: “We can’t thank you enough for getting Chris this far. We’ve now stretched our target to ensure that Chris gets the best possible care and ongoing specialist treatment when he is back in UK.
“You are all incredible people. Thank you so much.”