Panthera Group, Bangkok’s leading hospitality, law and marketing conglomerate, brought crucial relief to Covid-19 hospital wards with the mechanical ventilators valued at 2.5 million baht. The donation of ten ventilators was funded in equal partnership with Jurassic Mountain Resort & Fishing Park, Thailand’s top luxury resort and fishing park in Cha Am, Phetchaburi.
Two units went to Bangkok’s hard-hit Central Correctional Hospital, which is responsible for the care of thousands of coronavirus-infected prison inmates. Bang Bua Thong, Bangkruai, Bhumibol Adulyadej, Mahasarakarm, Pakkred and Suthavet hospitals each received one machine, as did Panyananthaphikkhu Chonprathan Medical Center and Busarakum Hospital’s Muangthong field hospital.
Many of the same hospitals previously received donations of thousands of personal-protective full-body suits and sanitizing alcohol. It was during the delivery those life-saving items that Panthera Group co-founder Paul Hayward learned of their ventilator shortage.
“I was told there were people waiting to go into ICU but couldn’t because there were no ventilators,” Hayward said. “If your ward has a 10-bed capacity, you need 10 ventilators. This is our way of trying to directly save lives.”
As of May 25, 1,187 Covid-19 patients were in critical condition in hospitals across Thailand, with 399 requiring ventilators. With daily reported coronavirus cases remaining stubbornly in the 2,000-3,000 range, the need for ventilators is expected not only to continue, but become more acute. Hayward said consultations with doctors and nurses showed that by donating 10 ventilators, Panthera Group could save at least 15 people a month.
Despite the positive impact ventilators can have in reducing deaths from Covid-19, few companies or individuals could afford such a major donation. Even Panthera Group, Thailand’s largest nightlife operator and owner of major law and marketing businesses, needed a partner. It found an eager one in Jurassic Resort & Fishing Park.
“Thailand has been very good to the resort’s foreign ownership and we wanted to be kind to Thailand,” said Jurassic Resort partner Tom Broomhead. “Thailand is in a drastic state right now. Many companies are going down and there’s more suffering than even meets the eye. We had been speaking with Paul (Hayward) about doing something to help. It could have been food or something else, but in the end, we decided on the ventilators.”
During the pandemic, Jurassic Resort lost its main source of revenue: foreign tourists. But it also employs more than two dozen Thai nationals and ownership has continued to pay salaries and keep people working. The ventilator donation is an extension of effort, with hope that the country’s Covid-19 epidemic can be ended and Thailand reopens to anglers from around the world.
“For us to be able to continue our relief efforts, we need to attract like-minded individuals to assist with the financial side,” said Hayward, whose company he co-founded with Michael Doherty has business crippled by the government shutdown of bars, nightclubs and restaurants. “We spoke with the owners of Jurassic Resort and they said they love what Panthera Group is doing and asked if they could participate. When we mentioned ventilators, they instantly said yes.”