Worthing couple stranded in Tenerife with £32,000 medical bills

Caroline and Brian Taylor with their grandchildren.
Caroline and Brian Taylor with their grandchildren.

A WORTHING woman and her critically ill husband are stranded in Tenerife and could have to re-mortgage their home to pay a £32,000 medical bill after an insurance fiasco.

Caroline and Brian Taylor are also likely to miss the birth of their grandchild after the holiday, a birthday present for Brian, ended in disaster.

Caroline, 58, and Brian, 72, are stuck in Santa Cruz until Brian is well enough to be flown back to the UK via air ambulance, after hospital staff were forced to induce a coma to keep him alive because he was not breathing when he arrived at hospital.

Caroline, of Stone Lane, Worthing, said the holiday was specifically booked from July 6, to July 13, so they would not miss the birth of their daughter’s baby, and said she just wants to come home now.

She said: “I have spent about €9,000 so far on hospital treatment and transporting him from Las Americas to Santa Cruz.

“He’s still in intensive care and he’s still very, very critical. We have spoken to doctors and it is looking like we’re looking at least a month of being over here.

“He was fine for the first couple of days. By Monday he had a niggly cough, and by Tuesday he couldn’t breathe. I took him to see a doctor, and then he was in an ambulance being whisked off to hospital. The next thing I knew he was in intensive care.”

Caroline, who works as a ward clerk on Brooklands ward, at Worthing Hospital, said her husband has chronic airways, but said it was under control.

She was under the impression the insurance company, organised through the couple’s bank Lloyds TSB, was fully aware of the problem.

“They felt that they had not been fully informed of his health issues. We have been holiday before with the same insurance,” she added.

“My husband would have never gone away if he thought he was not insured.”

An air ambulance to bring Brian back would see the couple forking out another £23,000, and despite having her credit card limit increased by Lloyds, Caroline said they are still well off the mark.

She said: “I have been phoning all the banks to see if they can help me. I have been trying to get a loan, but I’m not in England to sign the paperwork.

“What we will have to do, is re-mortgage our property when we get back, because there is no other alternative.

“It’s just trying to think straight – my mind is going 50 to the dozen at the moment. I’m not used to making decisions. He has always made all the decisions for us.”

Currently, Brian is too unwell to be transported home, but Caroline said he is slowly responding to treatment.

Talking about not being able to make it back for the birth of their daughter’s baby, Caroline said: “It would be horrendous if we didn’t make it back. My daughter is in pieces.”

Caroline’s 33-year-old son Aaron Mawson has flown over to be with his mother through the ordeal.

“Our family and friends have inundated us with love and support and it has really helped us through it,” she added.
The Herald contacted the insurance company, but had still not received a response by the time the paper went to press.