Family gets £30,000 bill after Yorkshire woman, 31, dies in plunge from Singapore balcony

A YORKSHIRE woman who was enjoying the World Cup with friends has died after plunging from a balcony in Singapore.

Sarah Royle, 31, of Hebden Bridge, suffered a blood clot on the brain and broken bones in the accident and "died" in the ambulance taking her to hospital, but the crew managed to resuscitate her.

Her life-support machine was switched off after her two sisters, Johanna 35 and Premsa Royle, 32, both of Todmorden, flew to the Far East to be with her.

Doctors had battled in vain to save her life, operating on her for between six and eight hours.

The drama unfolded on Friday morning when the family received a phone call from the hospital in Singapore telling them Ms Royle was critically ill.

Friends rallied round and raised thousands of pounds to buy plane tickets so they could fly to be at her bedside.

Close family friend Julia Curtis, 32, of Banksfield Road, Mytholmroyd, said: "I have known Sarah since I was 13 years old. The family moved from Manchester to Hebden Bridge 20 years ago.

"Everyone is devastated. Jo and Premsa are heartbroken. They just wanted to get straight out there. The people from the British Embassy met them at the airport and they went straight to the hospital and were shown the scans and told there was not any hope.

"The three of them are so close. They haven't got any other family because both their parents have died, so there's just the three of them.

"She had a natural flair for living life to the full and she will be so missed by all her friends and family. We really need to raise 30,000 now to pay for all her medical expenses – she was treated at a top hospital – and to bring her body home, otherwise there will have to be a cremation service at the hospital. We do not know yet if the insurance company will pay out."

The sisters are awaiting a toxicology report and the Yorkshire Post understands that even if her remains are cremated in Singapore the medical expenses will top 30,000.

Johanna Royle said: "She was in a top hospital, the best place me and Prem have ever seen. Everyone has been so good and so kind including the police. The city is absolutely stunning and we can both see why it was Sarah's favourite."

Mrs Curtis said already more than 5,300 has been raised friends and wellwishers, donations pouring in as word spread through the close-knit communities of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

She added: "Sarah was a very bubbly and outgoing young woman with a natural zest for life. She was adventurous and wanted to see and do everything."

Ms Royle, a former pupil at Calder High School, left her home in Hebden Bridge 18 months ago to live in Australia and worked in bars and clubs before an oversight meant her visa ran out and she had to travel to Singapore to sort the necessary paperwork out. She

had been there two weeks when the accident happened following England's win over Slovenia.

On Sunday friends staged a vigil in Hebden Bridge during England's World Cup game and posters have been plastered over pubs in memory of the popular woman known affectionately as Sarah Shark and appealing for financial help.

Any donations can be paid to a Halifax bank account, with sort code 110001 and account number 08872709.

Friend Liam Busby, 33, of Halifax, said: "I went to school with Sarah and remember her as a happy-go-lucky, bubbly, lovely girl. People have been fantastic in rallying round raising money going round the town with buckets.

" We hope everyone will contribute what they can and I would like to make a plea to the Yorkshire community to give generously."

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed Ms Royle's death and said her family were receiving consular assistance.

An inquest into Ms Royle's death will only take place if her body is returned to these shores. If her remains are cremated in Singapore a British coroner has no jurisdiction.


These are just some of the tributes paid to Sarah Royle on the social networking site Facebook:

Joanne Booth: My beautiful friend sarah, i will miss you so much, i will always have a hole in my life without you & always have a friend missing. We had sum good times didnt we, here's to more when we next meet. Rest in peace gorgeous angel, your back with your mum now, love you so much x x x x x x x x x x x.

Joanna Heyes: At 4am when Sarah's life support was being switched off a few of Sarah's friends met up and lit candles and shared a couple of memories in the square of H.B. Maddy made a lovely board 4 people to write on & Karen brought lots of glitter & shinny stuff :) the square looks lovely. Youv'e left a huge hole in people's hearts Sarah you was a good frend to many. R.I.P Miss sharky Royle. Our love goes out to Jo and Prem XXX.

Mike Royle: Me and Irene and all the family are so sorry to hear about Sarah. Our hearts go out to Jo & Premsa and all Sarah's friends.