Semiahmoo Peninsula-raised folk/roots musician Wyckham Porteous is recovering in Edinburgh, Scotland following a serious cardiac arrest incident on Aug. 22.
A crowd-funding appeal has raised more than 9000 pounds toward the targeted amount of 10,000 pounds to cover emergency medical costs for the well-known Victoria-born musician, who, as of Tuesday, was out of the intensive care unit and moved to the the cardiology ward of Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary Hospital..
Deborah Heard, who posted the appeal https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/deborah-heard-2… on behalf of Porteous’ family, wrote Sunday that he had spent several days in a medically-induced coma at the hospital.
She wrote that while Porteous was breathing on his own and following basic commands, “it will be some time until we know the full extent of his condition.”
Porteous did not have medical insurance, and while his return to his home in Vancouver has been delayed, the family has taken on responsibility for the medical costs, Heard wrote.
While some British National Health services are free for Canadians, the NHS website notes that “entitlement to free NHS services depend on the length and purpose of your residence in the UK.”
Friend and musical collaborator Will Pickvance posted on Facebook that “a typical musician, Wyckham hadn’t organized any health insurance – and his hospital bill is 1000 pounds plus each day he’s in care.”
The musician, who grew up and attended high school in the White Rock-South Surrey area, returned to the community to act as artistic director of the former White Rock Arts Council Up Close and Intimate roots music series for several seasons starting in 2006, and also headlined for one of the concerts in 2008, sharing the stage with journalist/musician John Armstrong.
A veteran figure in the west coast music scene, he has also had a successful touring career in the U.K. and Ireland, fueled by frequent airplay for his 2008 album 3 A.M., which included a cover of the Beatles’ Please Please Me, produced and arranged by former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.