A Devon man who was stranded in Guatemala with a near-fatal condition is recovering at home after flying back to the UK.

Alex Carter, who went to school in Ivybridge but currently lives in Cornwall, fell gravely ill after suffering several strokes while in the central American country, causing three blood clots to his brain. A fourth one would have proved fatal, according to relatives.

The 38-year-old was admitted to an intensive-care unit early in January. Friends and family members subsequently raised more than £55,000, partly through a Gofundme campaign, to cover his medical bills and fly him back to the UK, more than 5,000 miles away.

Mr Carter, who is reportedly an accomplished sailor and was in the process of sailing around the world at the time, was flown back home last month.

Although it was reported that more than £130,000 were needed to hire a special emergency medical flight, relatives finally decided to fly him back home on a commercial flight.

Mr Carter’s brother, Byron, told this newspaper: “He still has the blood clots but they stabilised him enough to fly.”

Alex was admitted to University College Hospital in London, but has since been discharged and is now recovering at home.

Byron revealed that his brother would need to be on medication for the rest of his life, and that surgery was now not possible as too much time had passed since he had the strokes.

“(Doctors) are just going to wait around for the clots to break up within the next six months. It’s going to affect him for the rest of his life. He is quite an active outdoor person and now it’ll be more of a mental challenge,” he said.

“At the moment we’re just happy to let him get on with his recovery.”

For his part, Alex revealed details of his traumatic experience by reportedly recording a farewell message to his loved ones.

He praised his wife Lucy's efforts, saying “she fought day and night with them, pushing for more brain scans and answers and correctly diagnosing many of the problems herself”.

He added: “She did all this while helping me to eat and drink, when I became too hot or too cold and organise and co ordinate with my family. During this time I made a recording to say goodbye and thank you. Health care in Guatemala is a far cry from the NHS, which I feel very lucky to have.”

He said doctors in Guatemala initially misdiagnosed his condition as meningitis. “They left me to fester for days when no more positive results came. The days were generally bearable but the nights were relentless,” he said.

“The pain was so intense I spent most nights screaming for more painkillers, but I was already maxed out on the strongest they had. Usually by 4am or 5am I would pass out from exhaustion and that's how my time passed for five days.

“Had it not been for the very fast response of the Gofundme campaign and the generosity and kindness of people, my last days would have ended in Guatemala far from home. I would never have seen my friends and family again. I would never have been able to look upon the sky or feel the fresh Cornish breeze on my face."