Thomas Jackson’s family members have spoken of their heartbreak and grief, one day after the British backpacker tragically died from injuries sustained during a knife attack at a hostel in Home Hill, Queensland.
The 30-year-old freelance journalist was hailed a hero for coming to the aid of fatally wounded fellow traveller Mia Ayliffe-Chung, during the frenzied attack at Shelly’s Backpackers on August 23.
In tending to the 21-year-old, authorities say Jackson put his own life at risk and was ultimately stabbed a number of times in the face, head and torso.
French national Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with murder and attempted murder over the stabbings, however detectives now plan to upgrade the latter charge in the wake of Jackson’s death.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung was fatally wounded in the attack. Image: Facebook.
Tom's father, Les Jackson, who had flown from England late last week to be by his son's bedside, has recently released a short statement, saying the Jackson family have been left "bereft" by the tragedy.
"Our darling Tom has left us and the world is a poorer place. Thanks again to everyone for the love and support you have given us over the last few days, we will be forever grateful," the statement read.
“There is dark and evil in this world perpetrated by a few, but so much more love and light emanates from so many more. That thought will sustain us over the coming days."
Les Jackson's heartbreaking statement was published via an online fundraising page established to assist the Jackson family cover costs related to his treatment and now, tragically, his funeral.
So far, more than 500 people have contributed roughly $18,500.
Yesterday, Tom Jackson's sister, Olivia, posted a heartfelt tribute of her own to her big brother on social media, writing:
"There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the pain and heartbreak of losing a sibling and a friend, but there is great comfort in knowing that he was mine.
"To everyone back home and to everyone here in Australia there are literally not enough words to thank you for your support and beautifully kind words to my family at this time.
"All that I ask is that you don't remember Tom as a victim. You remember him as a friend, cherish the memories you had together and be thankful you got to meet him and be part of the joy that he bought to this world. Indescribably proud of everything you accomplished and the lives you touched. I will love you always and forever TJ."
Ayad is next due to face Townsville Magistrates Court on October 28.