Family of British gran, 70, stranded in Canary Islands launch appeal to 'help mam come home'

·3-min read
Jennifer Wardle, 70, from Middlesbrough, is stranded in Gran Canaria because her family say her insurers won't pay £28,000 to bring her home. (SWNS)
Jennifer Wardle, 70, from Middlesbrough, is stranded in Gran Canaria because her family say her insurers won't pay £28,000 to bring her home. (SWNS)

A British grandmother who was left in a coma while on holiday in the Canary Islands is now stranded there after her daughter said her insurers had refused to pay to bring her home.

Jennifer Wardle, 70, collapsed after she was struck down by "severe food poisoning" two days into a two-week family holiday on Gran Canaria.

She was taken to hospital where she has been receiving round-the-clock attention from medics, her daughter said.

But even though the pensioner could be brought back to the UK using a medical evacuation plane, her daughter Mandy Wardle, 49, said her insurer is refusing to pay the £28,000 it would cost.

She said: "We want her home for Christmas...But we just don’t have that kind of money to get her home."

Beautiful view of Las Palmas city, Gran Canaria, Spain
The family had gone on holiday to Gran Canaria but Jennifer got ill two days after arriving. (Stock image: Getty)

She said the insurance company were initially helpful but after it transpired that her mother had visited doctors six days before she went on holiday and was treated for her COPD, they then refused to pay for an emergency flight home.

Mandy Wardle, from Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, said she went on holiday with her mum, sister and friend on 8 November but her mum fell ill on the second day.

Read more: Raab piles pressure on Johnson to come clean over No 10 Christmas party

Her mum collapsed and was rushed to hospital where she said she ended up on life support.

She said: "The insurance company were brilliant to start with. They contacted the hospital every day and translated what they were saying.

"They arranged with the hospital to have the tracheotomy put in because they said it would be easier to 'scoop and run' with her on the mediplane."

Wardle, 70, had received treatment for COPD before she went on holiday, which her daughter says is the reason why her insurers won't pay out. (SWNS)
Wardle, 70, had received treatment for COPD before she went on holiday, which her daughter says is the reason why her insurers won't pay out. (SWNS)

But things changed when more information came to light about her mum's treatment before she went on holiday, she said.

"We declared on the insurance that she had COPD, that she’d had a recent chest infection, and that she’d had a hospital admission previously for one.

"We declared for the chest infection that she’d finished her antibiotics before she went away, so as far as she was aware, it was clear.

"[But] She went back to the doctors on 2 November for a COPD check. They had to give her some steroids for her COPD.

"The insurers are now saying it's part of the infection, so they won’t payout."

She said her mum is now stuck in hospital in Gran Canaria and she too is having to stay on the island, paying £250 a week for an apartment while she helps care for her mother.

"It’s a nightmare, and it’s even worse for my sister because she’s having to do the bus journey, an hours bus journey, every day to go see my mum," she added.

"I’m having to rent an apartment – it’s £250 a week – and then there are food costs on top of all of that, and travel.

"My dad is heartbroken as he stayed at home."

The family have now set up a donation page to raise funds to get her mother home, which has so far raised just over £500.

Watch: Is a UK state pension enough to survive on in retirement?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting