• Quote: ‘After a good few days on intravenous antibiotics it is looking likely that Willie will be able to go home’

By Andrew Atkinson Leader exclusive

Snooker star Willie Thorne, diagnosed with leukaemia in March, is set to return to his Spanish home on May 15 after undergoing tests – amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thorne, 66, who lives in Villamartin, Alicante, was rushed to Torrevieja hospital on May 2 after feeling unwell and has since had three blood transfusions.

While in hospital, Thorne has had a fever, and told by medics he needed round the clock observation, or he could die.

“After a good few days on intravenous antibiotics it is looking likely that Willie will be able to go home on Friday (May 15),” said friend Julie O’Neill.

O’Neill and golfer, Sky sports golfing broadcaster Mark Roe, set up a GoFundMe campaign in April, to raise cash to help bankrupt Thorne pay for medical care – along with food and rent – while recuperating at home, after undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Leicester City legend Gary Lineker, one Willie’s best friends, has donated €1,000, Spanish golf star Miguel Jiminez donated €200, and British golfer Danny Willett has donated €2,000.

Bedridden Thorne has also suffered with gout in the last few months, with a carer on hand at his home on the Costa Blanca south.

“Willie will return home, with the home care nurses being able to continue treatment daily,” said O’Neill.

While in hospital since May 2, Thorne has also had heart and MRI scans, and an investigation, where a tube was inserted down his throat.

“Fingers crossed there’s no further complications – and he will be able to return home,” added O’Neill.

Thanking supporters earlier this month, Sky Sports golf presenter Mark said: “Willie and I talk daily and his spirits have been lifted massively by the messages and generosity shown for him when the world is in crisis.

“I cannot thank my own friends and fellow professional golfers enough.

“Thank you is not enough for those who have, at moments, moved me to tears with their kindness.

“I do not find it easy to ask anyone for money or help, but while asking is sometimes awkward, this time it may be life saving for my friend – and that’s priceless.”

The GoFundMe campaign has raised over 19,000€ of the 30,000 target. If you would like to donate please go to:

www.gofundme.co/f/willie-thorne-recovery

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