Trapped gran to fly home

Evening Times - - FRONT PAGE - FULL STORY – PAGE 7

A US hospi­tal has come to the aid of a Glas­gow gran who was stranded in Florida.

Lor­raine Romeo, 55, had been fac­ing a med­i­cal bill of £100,000 after her in­sur­ance firm dis­puted her claim when she fell ill on hol­i­day.

But now the hospi­tal has agreed to foot the bill.

A GLAS­GOW woman who has spent al­most two months in a Florida hospi­tal in a row over her in­sur­ance is to fly back to the UK in days.

The Evening Times told yes­ter­day how 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.

While the 55-year-old’s con­di­tion has now sta­bilised, she was left fac­ing a med­i­cal bill of more than £100,000 be­cause there is a dis­pute over her in­sur­ance claim.

How­ever, the fam­ily have spo­ken of their re­lief and grat­i­tude after bosses at the Dr P Philips hospi­tal in Florida agreed to foot the bill to al­low Lor­raine to come home.

Doc­tor P Philips agreed to front up the cost of a nurse to ac­com­pany Lor­raine, who is orig­i­nally from Roys­ton, on the flight back to the UK, as well as the med­i­cal equip­ment she re­quires, in­clud­ing a sup­ply of oxy­gen.

Lor­raine’s son Mal­colm, 23, who is with his mother in Florida, set up a fundrais­ing page to help raise the cash and has said he would be con­tact­ing Just­giv­ing to re­fund all the money to donors.

He said: “We are in a much better po­si­tion to­day.

“Yes­ter­day 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 Just­giv­ing and ar­range for all the money to be re­funded to peo­ple who made do­na­tions. My mum had sug­gested we do­nate the money to char­ity.

Lor­raine, 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. She 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.

The fam­ily say she dis­closed her med­i­cal his­tory, fully, 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.

The com­pany has said Ms Romeo’s case is “com­plex” and it is still to con­clude an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is un­der­stood to have been prompted by the fi­nan­cial om­buds­man.

Lor­raine Romeo ended up in a US hospi­tal, as re­ported last night, be­low

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