Lorraine Romeo fell ill with flu in the US and ended up in intensive care
Lorraine Romeo’s dream trip to the US turned into a nightmare after she fell ill with flu days into the trip and ended up in intensive care.
Although the 55-year-old’s condition has now stabilised, she faces a medical bill of more than £100,000 due to a dispute over her insurance claim.
Mrs Romeo suffers from the lung condition emphysema and started to feel unwell around eight days into the holiday.
She was taken to hospital and doctors diagnosed Influenza B.
Mrs Romeo’s condition has now stabilised, but she faces a medical bill of more than £100,000
My mum was practically on her death bed at one point. It could’ve been so much worse
But the family have spoken of their relief after bosses at the Dr P Philips hospital in Florida agreed to foot the bill of around £11,000 to allow Mrs Romeo to come home.
Doctor P Philips agreed to pay for a nurse to accompany Mrs Romeo, from Glasgow, on the flight back to the UK, as well as the medical equipment she requires, including a supply of oxygen.
Mrs Romeo’s son Malcolm, 23, set up a fundraising page to help raise the cash and has said he would be contacting Gofundme to refund all the money to donors.
It raised more than £2,600 in just three days.
Mrs Romeo suffers from emphysema, and started to feel unwell eight days into her holiday
Mr Romeo says the family could be home within the next few days.
He said: “We are in a much better position today.
“A social worker came to see my mum and said that the hospital are going to pay for the nurse and the equipment to get her on the plane.
“It could be in the next few days hopefully. We don’t know if they are just going to add this to medical bill but, to be honest, if it gets us home, I’m happy. We can think about that later. We just want to be back on UK soil.
“I’m going to contact Gofundme and arrange for all the money to be refunded to people who made donations.
“She came here with a chest infection which developed into something much worse.
“The additional stress of the situation is not exactly helping my mum’s health.
“My mum was practically on her death bed at one point. It could’ve been so much worse.
“The insurance company basically think they have found a loophole and just don’t want to pay out. It’s a business to them.
“I was gobsmacked by how much support we were able to drum up online in just a matter of days.”
Mrs Romeo, who lives in the Suffolk area, flew out to the sunshine state on December 19 with close family including her six-year-old grandson Marley.
They enjoyed Christmas together but on December 28, she was taken to hospital.
The family say she disclosed her full medical history to the insurance company, World’s First, and say they could not have foreseen that she would contract flu but the company has so far refused to say if it will settle the claim.
A spokesman for the firm said the case is “complex” and it is still to conclude an investigation, which is understood to have been prompted by the financial ombudsman.
She said: “We are aware of Ms Romeo’s admission to a hospital in Florida, and we are assisting her and her family as much as possible.
“However, this is not a straightforward case and requires further investigation. We will be able to advise further once all the information is to hand.”