THE family and friends of a dad-of-two who suffered a stroke on the last day of a family holiday are desperate for help to get him home.

John Fillingham was on holiday with his two daughters, 15-year-old Alisha and 10-year-old Charlie, and his friend David Riding and his two children in Salou, Spain, when he started feeling unwell.

David persuaded him to go to hospital but soon after he arrived on May 28 he had a stroke. He was placed in an induced coma and remains in an intensive care unit in a Spanish hospital.

Relatives and friends of the 51-year-old now want to get him home so he can begin the long road to recovery, but in order to do so they need £15,000 to pay for an air ambulance.

David Connor, one of John’s best friends, told the Journal: “I have just come back from seeing him and he is in a bad way although he is waking up now and he is responsive.

“He can understand what you are saying but you can see him struggling to reply how he wants to.

“He is still on a ventilator to help him breathe but the doctors hope to reduce the amount of work this is doing.

“He has been there for two weeks now and we really want to get him home. It would be much better if he was in a hospital in Manchester rather than over there.”

John, a self-employed tiler from Higher Folds, Leigh, fell ill three days before the end of his trip.

He thought at first that it was just the heat that was making him feel unwell or a result of his diabetes.

“It is likely that he was ill because he was about to have stroke. It is lucky he was in hospital when it happened,” said David.

“It was such a big shock, especially because he was there with his two daughters. They were all just having a lovely holiday until this happened. We’re hopeful that he will be given the all-clear to fly in a week’s time but his family just don’t have the money to pay for the air ambulance.”

A Foreign Office spokesman confirmed that they were aware that a British National had fallen ill in Spain and were providing consular assistance.

To find out more or to donate, visit the Help get John home Facebook page