Parents GBP 35K Medical Bill After Daughters Holiday Crash
Filed in: Travel Insurance
01. February 2016
Natasha Hutchinson, 24, was travelling on the back of a a rented moped in the popular beach resort Phuket, when she collided with a lorry, fell off and crushed her leg.
Miss Hutchinson has now left her parents tens of thousands of pounds in debt because she had forgotten to get medical insurance.
Miss Hutchinson, from Maesteg, Wales, was left with a smashed kneecap, a broken femur, torn muscles, extensive blood and skin loss and septicaemia in her leg following the horror crash in Phuket, Thailand.
Her parents were left with credit card debts of £35,000 after forking out for flights, four knee operations, painkillers and skin grafts.
Wheelchair-bound Natasha was deemed fit to fly home to the UK last week, and Thai medics warned she may not walk for another nine months.
Her mother, Michelle Lucas, 46, said: 'It's every parent's worst nightmare.
'Natasha's completely devastated. She set out for the adventure of a lifetime, and ended up nearly losing her leg thousands of miles from home.
Miss Hutchinson was riding on the back of a moped with a friend when a truck careened round the corner and knocked her from the bike.
The 24-year-old has now had a total of eight operations and numerous blood transfusions, and after her most recent skin graft on Monday, she was told she could fly home 'It's so dangerous - Brits go to Thailand and think nothing of jumping on mopeds and doing things they'd never do at home.'
Mrs Lucas, a social worker, says her daughter was riding on the back of a moped with a friend when a truck careened round the corner and knocked her from the bike.
She says police were called to the scene but no arrests were made.
Following the accident, Miss Hutchinson was given a kneecap replacement in a Thai hospital.
She was discharged three days later, but re-admitted when she collapsed and was told she had septicaemia and was at risk of losing her leg.
Mrs Lucas said: 'On the one hand I was furious that she'd been so naïve to not pay for insurance - but then, she was so excited before she set off she could easily have forgotten.
'That's when we knew she was in serious trouble.
'She was so excited that she must have just forgotten.
'Or maybe she thought nothing bad would ever happen to her.
'This was her gap-year between graduating and getting a job, and she couldn't wait to let her hair down.'
Another fund raising site launched for an uninsured traveller
Help: A family friend has now created a fundraising page to help the family scrape back some of the money.
Early last month, Mrs Lucas and police officer husband Richard Lucas spent £2,000 on return flights to Thailand to be by her side and pay for her treatment.
Mrs Lucas says: 'I couldn't bear the thought of my daughter being in pain so far from home.
'I knew how scared she'd be, and was determined to pay for whatever treatment she needed. Seeing her in that hospital bed with her wounds wrapped in bandages, I burst into tears.
She said she kept a vigil every day by her daughter's bedside.
Mrs Lucas added: 'She was so shaken up, and terrified she would lose her leg. I just wanted to make it all better.'
The couple contacted the British embassy who told them they could not help.
Miss Hutchinson has now had a total of eight operations and numerous blood transfusions. After her most recent skin graft on Monday, she was told she could fly home.
Mrs Lucas forked out another £3,000 for flights back to the UK, travelling with her daughter in first class as Natasha was too frail to fly in economy.
Now, Miss Hutchinson's friend Kirsty Purcell, 24, has created a fundraising page to help the family scrape back some of the money.
Mrs Lucas said: 'We're in a desperate situation and hope that people will sympathise with the situation.
'It's cost an arm and a leg and Natasha has a long recovery ahead of her. But as long as she is safe, that's all that matters.'
Travel Insurance is an absolute necessity when travelling abroad - don't leave home without it