An Australian tourist is in hospital in Bali after he was struck head-on by another vehicle while on a moped.
Melbourne woman Bailey Scarlett said her ‘best friend’ Benji Ward is ‘lucky to be alive’ after he suffered a serious head injury and broke four bones, including the tibia and fibula of his right leg, which pierced the skin, in the crash on Thursday morning.
Mr Ward also needed an urgent blood transfusion, which required doctors to scramble to find a donor as Bali hospitals don’t have well-stocked blood banks.
Ms Scarlett said her friend has undergone one surgery but will need at least one more and also has a metal halo splint drilled into his right leg, putting him in a wheelchair for at least four months.
‘Currently, he’s awaiting life-saving surgery, but before this can go ahead he needs a blood transfusion; unfortunately, in Bali, blood banks don’t store blood, so we are desperately searching for blood donors,’ she said.
Ms Scarlett has launched a GoFundMe to raise money to airlift Mr Ward back to Australia, saying his travel insurance would not cover ‘this type of accident’.
It’s another warning for Aussies in Bali to ensure they add motorbike cover to their travel insurance plan, as mopeds are the main mode of travel on the holiday island.
‘I know Benji has been a friend to many and would help any of you wherever he can, so any donation to get him home is greatly appreciated,’ she said.
Australian tourist Benji Ward is in hospital in Bali after being involved in an alleged hit-and-run while on a rental bike (pictured)
Mr Ward took to Instagram to thank family and friends who have rallied to support him with his first surgery successfully stopping his bleeding but he will need another on his leg
On Friday, Mr Ward said from his hospital bed that his first surgery went well and stopped the bleeding in his head, but he will need a follow-up operation on his leg in three weeks.
‘I’m so grateful to everyone reaching out and donating. I really do have amazing friends and family,’ Mr Ward said.
‘The first surgery has been successful, and they have stopped the bleeding. Now it’s just a waiting process until I can have surgery on my leg.’
‘Words can’t describe the love I have for everyone in this time of need. Thank you. I’ll try to get back to everyone once I’ve recovered from the surgery.’
It is understood Benji was on a hired moped when he was involved in a hit-and-run.
Mr Scarlett said Bali police are currently looking for the driver.
She has been in contact with the rental bike company, who told her witnesses claimed to police the driver was Russian.
Police are looking into the crash and have been told by witnesses the driver was Russian
The incident is the latest in a string of Australians who have been hospitalised in Bali in recent weeks.
Travellers have flooded back to the popular holiday island as international travel ramps back up.
Authorities in Bali have this year launched a number of initiatives in an attempt to improve the island’s reputation as a budget destination, including a new ‘tourist tax’ and a task force assigned to monitor tourist behaviour.
Ms Scarlett, who is an OnlyFans model, previously acted as a de facto media spokesperson for the family of baby ‘Lucky’.
In February, they captured the nation’s hearts when Lucky’s mum, Honey Ahimsa, launched a desperate bid to charter a medical evacuation.
Her then-seven-week-old daughter needed to fly back to Australia for life-saving care not available in Indonesia.
Ms Ahimsa, a wellness influencer and mother-of-two originally from Melbourne, said doctors in Bali gave her baby a 50 per cent chance of survival.
Almost $200,000 was raised in a matter of days by kind-hearted donors who rallied behind the stranded family as Lucky battled sepsis, severe pneumonia, lung failure and RSV-bronchiolitis.
She was flown to Brisbane on a medevac flight in February, and doctors treated her successfully.
Mr Ward (pictured left) will have a metal halo brace drilled into his leg requiring him to use a wheelchair for months
A few months later in July, Ms Ahmisa revealed she and her partner Pan, along with Lucky and their other young child, have returned to Bali where they are renovating a house.
Ms Scarlett later distanced herself from the family after questions were asked about whether any of the money raised for Lucky was used on their new house.
Ms Ahmisa strongly denied this was the case.
Bailey Scarlett, an OnlyFans model and actress acted as a de facto media spokesperson for Baby Lucky’s parents Honey and Pan Ahimsa in February
Honey Ahimsa and her fiance Pan launched a plea for help getting Lucky airlifted to Australia so she could get the best care she urgently needed – they deny any of the almost $200,000 from GoFundMe were misused
Ms Scarlett wrote to her social media that: ‘I was never associated with these people prior, I simply rushed down to the hospital to help complete strangers as I felt for them as a mother myself.’
‘I had family and friends who donated who are annoyed and disappointed. I pushed the GoFundMe to go viral because I was under the impression this baby could die if they did not reach their goal or get care-flighted out of Bali,’ she said.
Ms Ahimsa, whose birth name was Rachael Eti, told Daily Mail Australia her family were just renting the property and that no money from the GoFundMe had been misappropriated. Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting otherwise.
‘I have all receipts and bank statements which affirm all costs for example $107,500 for the medical evacuation plane alone, not including any overseas medical costs,’ she said.