A Brockville, Ont., man is fighting for his life in a Mexican hospital.
Dave Beatty, also known as “Island Dave,” has been in hospital in Puerto Escondido since March 18.
He was found in a ditch early that morning by an American tourist on a dark stretch of road just outside the village where he was staying.
“As best we know, it looks like a hit and run,” says Cathy McHugh, one of Beatty’s friends.
“He had $90 on his person, he had his passport, he had his travel documents all with him. So it certainly does not look like a robbery.”
Beatty suffered six fractured ribs and a punctured lung.
A week later, he suffered a heart attack, but fortunately, his condition has improved in recent days.
“April 1, he became conscious,” says McHugh.
“So he has been unconscious up until this time. He actually opened his eyes. He’s not able to speak, however, he can respond.”
When two of Beatty’s friends heard he was in the hospital, they dropped everything and went down to Mexico, and have been with him ever since.
Now Island Dave has a whole team of people working to bring him home, back to the 1000 islands region.
“The estimates for the next couple of weeks in hospital, with medical care and transport back to Canada, are estimated at another $35,000,” says McHugh.
Beatty is well known in the Brockville area as the “keeper of the islands.”
Those who know him say he is a friendly, outgoing person who has accomplished so much in life.
He has run both the New York City and Boston marathons, and has taken part in numerous humanitarian efforts overseas.
“He worked in setting up an orphanage in India, he was there for years,” says McHugh.
“He spent a number of times in Ecuador teaching English to the children.”
McHugh says it will likely be another few weeks before Beatty is healthy enough to travel.
A GoFundMe has been set up for his expenses, and there will also be fundraisers happening in Brockville to raise money to bring Island Dave back home.