Updated: Friday, 22nd September 2017 @ 5:39am

North West brothers turn dream holiday into aid mission to save lives in typhoon-hit Philippines

North West brothers turn dream holiday into aid mission to save lives in typhoon-hit Philippines

By Helen Le Caplain

Two brothers who live on opposite sides of the world are teaming up to help people overcome 'unimaginable suffering' in typhoon-hit Philippines – turning their holiday into an aid mission.

North West cardiac nurse Luke Sumner, 32, is meeting up with 34-year-old James and his wife Fran, who live in New Zealand, for what was going to be a trip of a lifetime.

The plan was to spend a leisurely two weeks backpacking round the islands, relaxing on stunning beaches and scuba diving in the aquamarine waters.

However the trip will now become an aid mission as the three travel to the island of Coron where it’s reported that 80% of town has been wiped out by Typhoon Haiyan .

Luke, from Blackpool, explained that it was a last-minute decision whether they would go ahead with the trip.

He said: “We only decided yesterday that we were going to go there and do our bit, even if we just help one family.

“Thousands have cancelled their holidays, which is understandable, but this is the worst thing people can do as they need tourists to put money back into the economy and use it to help injured people.

“We’ll help in any way we can, and I’ll use my nursing skills in any rescue centres that have been set up – there’s a lot to be done.”

Luke is flying to Amsterdam on KLM airlines, which has doubled his luggage allowance for free, and then on to China with his brother and sister-in-law.

He is using his allowance to take clothes donated by friends and family and also £200-worth of goods including children’s clothing, shoes, toys, toiletries, medicines and feminine hygiene products.

CHARITY HAUL: Some of the supplies being flown out

He added: “I’m going in the clothes I’m stood up in and will buy things such as t-shirts while I’m out there to help the economy.

“I heard on the news earlier today that there is a lot of looting going on with people desperate to grab what they can.”

You can donate to the British Red Cross' Typhoon Haiyan Appeal here.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.