Wife of retired police officer forced to leave husband in Turkey after stroke and hit with 30k medical bill
The wife of a retired policeman who had a stroke on holiday has been forced to leave her husband behind after being hit with a £30,000 bill.
Dennis Gittins, 85, collapsed in a jewellery store 11 days into a holiday in Marmaris, Turkey, with wife Jean, 91, and was rushed into a private hospital.
Devastated Jean claims the hospital are refusing to let her husband who is on life support be transferred to a UK hospital unless the family pay the huge bill.
She ran out of money to stay in Turkey and flew home alone leaving husband of 50 years Dennis, who is believed to be brain dead, in a coma in the hospital.
Retired dressmaker Jean, from Whiston, Merseyside, said: “I just wanted him to be in a hospital here so I could visit him.
“But we were told that couldn’t happen unless we paid the £30,000 bill – which is rising by £1,500 every day.
“I really don’t know what to do – I don’t have that sort of money.
“The only reason I came home was because I had no funds to pay for the hotel.
“I never wanted to leave Dennis but I had no choice.
“I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Dennie, who worked for Merseyside Police, suffered the stroke on September 29 and Jean visited him every day until October 8 until she had to fly home.
Intana Insurance Group are refusing to stump up the cash to cover the sky-high hospital bills and claim Mr Gittins had not declared that he had previously had a stroke.
But Jean disputes this and insists the firm were told.
She said: “Dennis had a stroke in May this year but he was told he was safe to travel.
“We’d had a lovely time in Turkey then a few days before we were due to leave, Dennis suddenly collapsed.
“He was rushed to hospital and has been on a life support machine.
“I called up yesterday and they said he was still breathing but he still needed to be on life support.
“But now I’ve been left with this bill to pay which I simply can’t afford.
“My friend had to help me pay for an easyJet flight home.
“The insurance firm said his sister should pay the bill – but she’s 78-years-old and has cancer.
“We’re not getting any help from anyone at the moment and all I want to do is see Dennis again.”
A spokesperson for Intana Insurance Group said: “Following a subsequent review of Mr Gittins’ case, and on behalf of our insurance partner Ageas, we stand by our original assessment regarding the settlement of this claim.
“As key information relating to Mr Gittins’ medical history was not disclosed when purchasing the policy, it was not possible to make an accurate assessment of his medical circumstances.
“We are therefore settling this claim based wholly on the medical declarations provided to us.
“When applying for travel insurance, full and factual disclosure of any medical conditions is essential in order for that insurer to make a correct assessment of a customer’s health.”
A Foreign Office official confirmed they are aware of Mr Gittins’ condition and said they are ‘providing consular assistance’.