Ex-soldier dies during Caribbean holiday

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a social worker from Yorkshire who has died in a Caribbean hospital as his family tried to raise money to bring him home.

Former soldier Frank Rice, 49, from Wakefield, was taken ill with pneumonia while on holiday in the Dominican Republic with his wife Dawn.

His treatment was costing about $4,000 a day, with his travel insurer having refused to pay the mounting medical bills because Mr Wright had failed to disclose he was suffering from a lung condition when he bought his holiday cover.

He was suffering from pulmonary fibrosis and was awaiting a lung transplant.

Mr Rice died on Wednesday night.

The medical bills had reached about £40,000 for the two weeks he was in hospital, according to his family.

He leaves a son and a daughter, Jordan and Ashleigh, and step-daughters Jessica and Rebecca.

His family has vowed to continue fund-raising.

A three-legged walk from Wakefield bus station to Newmillderdam is due to go ahead tomorrow, starting at 11am.

The money raised will go towards paying the associated medical costs.

More than 700 people had joined a Facebook campaign set up to raise money for an air ambulance to bring Mr Rice, who is originally from Scotland, back to the UK.

Tributes have been paid on the social networking site.

One from John McPherson said: “We will all miss Frank, but we need to keep going and raise as much money as we can. Dawn, Ashleigh and Jordan can then tell us what they want to do with it.”

He added: “You were very much loved and cherished by all your family, especially up here in Scotland. RIP my friend.”

Stefani Rice wrote: “Sweet dreams uncle Frank. Nana and grandad Rice have you again now so we all know you’re in safe hands.”

Wakefield Council chief executive Joanne Roney said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this sad time.”