A crowd-funding appeal has been launched to help an Isle of Wight dad who has twice battled Covid-19 - and has also been bitten by a cobra.

The CEO of charity-backed social enterprise Sabirian - a former Island healthcare worker - is in intensive care in a hospital in India.

Ian Jones, who runs the fair trade crafts project, has been in hospital since surviving a poisonous (and usually deadly) bite, from a king cobra.

He was already battling a second bout of coronavirus- after first getting the virus in March.

He has been paralysed and blinded by the snake bite, which his family are hoping is temporary.

Isle of Wight County Press: The king cobra that bit Ian

Now, a GoFundMe appeal has been set up to raise £8,000, towards to the tens of thousands of pounds needed for Ian's care - and to allow him to return home. Community Action Isle of Wight is behind Ian's enterprise, which provides opportunities for around 70 Indian craftspeople.

It helps them them trade their way out of poverty, both by providing training and helping them sell their crafts and furniture in the UK, in a sustainable and ethical way.

A Newport High Street shop also provides volunteering opportunities for Islanders with additional barriers to employment, giving them confidence to gain, or return to, work.

Usually based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Ian had moved to the village where craftspeople supported by the project are based, so he could continue to provide support during the pandemic.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ian is in the Jodhpur region of India

He cannot return to the UK due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Ian's son Seb said: "Dad is a fighter! During his time out in India he had already suffered from malaria and Dengue fever.

"He has remained resolute in his determination to stay in the country and continue his work helping the people that need his support. "As a family, we understood.

"We were naturally concerned about him though and then, when we heard he had also suffered what is usually a fatal snake bite, on top of all that he has been through, we honestly could not believe it.

"It really has been touch and go. He is stable at the moment, but it is clear he is going to need to remain in hospital out there for some time to come."

The family has thanked Ian's colleagues for their support. Mike Bulpitt, CEO of Community Action Isle of Wight said: "Ian has put so much on the line to continue to support the people out in India that he works with, living in difficult conditions and being away from his own family and friends on the Island for most of the year.

"He is now facing a long road to recovery and we are appealing for any fundraising support people can give to help us meet his medical costs, until he can eventually be brought home.

"We hope that he will soon be able to get back to the work he loves and to supporting those that need him, but right now he needs all our help to get through this battle to survive."

Isle of Wight County Press: Indian craftswomen at work