Bay man Sean Kenzie says he wished he'd died in a Thailand hospital after a painful ordeal in "disgusting" medical conditions.
Mr Kenzie has disclosed further details about the horror of a Phuket hospital when a working holiday turned into the month from hell after the 27-year-old was knocked from his scooter by a taxi van.
Ten days under guard in private care at Bangkok Hospital, with no way to pay his mounting medical bill, he was booted out and sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital.
"For about 8 hours there I wished I did die - I was like 'I can't stay here, there's people dying two beds over'," Mr Kenzie said.
"The first night I just covered my face and laid there.
"There were rats, an ant trail running into my bed, geckos and people throwing their faeces out the windows - I was disgusted."
Only eight hours into his first overseas adventure, his accident saw him stranded and alone, with no way home.
"I was supposed to be here working to re-roof a bar in the Otop markets in Patong," he said.
" I had a look at the bar, had a beer. My girlfriend was on the plane behind me so I was like, 'I want to go back to the motel and get some rest so I am all good for tonight when she turns up'. Jumped on the bike and got run over."
"I remember pulling over, I remember getting hit, I remember the impact, then I remember waking up in hospital with someone trying to get me to come to, 'cause they needed my signature to operate.
"I couldn't sign the piece of paper so they took my thumb print. I remember as my thumb touched the paper I could feel the morphine running up my arm."
When Mr Kenzie woke after the operation, he could see and feel the extent of his injuries - a split liver, collapsed lungs, damage to his neck, broken jaw and smashed teeth.
"[There were] tubes coming out my neck, tubes coming out my sides, tubes attached to me everywhere, into my arms."
Though he had taken out insurance, he did not ask for the "extra premium" which covered riding scooters and mopeds.
The pain from his injuries was "intense" but the hospital refused to operate on his broken jaw or teeth and at one stage withheld pain medication.
Now that he was back in the safety of his home country, Sean's mother, Nadine Mouritsen, revealed how her son would sneak out of hospital to buy food and stock up on supplies to clean his own wounds.
"He had to escape the hospital when the nurses were on the internet," she said.
"He put his portable lung tubes in his backpack and would go to the 7/11, where he would buy packet food.
"He wouldn't touch anything that wasn't sealed because he got really sick when he did."
The experience had taken its toll on Ms Mouritsen, who had stage three liver cancer, but she was "ecstatic" to see her son on Saturday when he flew into Auckland Airport, accompanied by a doctor and nurse.
"He came in early and there was a bit of a kerfuffle.
"I couldn't see him because the airport [people] were really funny about the media. They were only allowed on the observation deck. They had these decoy ambulances and sent Sean off in an undercover ambulance."
After a night settling her son in Auckland Hospital, she was back in Hawke's Bay waiting to learn when he could return to his family home.
"He's lost about 20kg. We were in hospital yesterday and he was having breakfast. When the nurse came to pick us his tray he said, 'that was delicious'.
"She looked at him as though it was the first time she had heard that."
During his time in Thailand, Mr Kenzie's friends and family campaigned to raise $28,000 for his medical bills. An anonymous donor paid for his flight home.
"I am just blown away by it all - I feel so blessed," Ms Mouritsen said. "I still have $12,000 to pay off his bill, now that he has been released, but the money is there."