'Nightmare' for Leeds couple stranded in Dubai with £11,000 medical bill after wife suffers ‘full body spasms’
Mick White told the Yorkshire Evening Post he is desperately trying to get him and his wife Kat out of the United Arab Emirates after she suffered a “full body spasm” while in the shower.
He said that after the medical incident at the end of April he took her to various hospitals to try and establish what was the matter but found out on the sixth day that his insurance would not cover the costs due to a “technicality”.
One of the hospitals have kept Mick’s passport, he claims, until he pays an £11,000 medical bill and he said that their pleas for help to the British Embassy have been dismissed, with the response being: “We are not a charity.”
The couple, who are both 54 and used to live in Farsley, planned on spending six days in Dubai to search for work after spending 12 months in India, where Mick worked as a football coach.
Mick said that his wife felt ill upon arrival and she was in the shower on April 25 when she became “frozen and couldn’t move her legs”.
He said: “I thought she was having a stroke. She was like a statue.”
After taking her to the hospital he was told to pay £1,800 for tests before being told it would cost a further £3,000 to stay overnight. After saying they didn’t have the money the couple were sent back to the hotel with tablets.
Kat was readmitted to hospital after another episode and more tests were carried out but doctors still haven’t established what is causing the seizures.
Mick said he was able to get some of the procedures covered by his Barclays travel insurance but that after six days they could not help further as their trip did not start and end in the UK.
Mick said: “It’s been absolutely horrific.”
Kat remains in a serious condition and is being looked after by Mick. The couple are still in a hotel room and a fundraiser has been set up so that they can pay their medical bills and fly home.
He said: “My warning would be to check what your insurance covers you for as I have paid for the last 10 years and my first claim is worth nothing.”
A Barclays spokesperson said: “Our travel insurance documents and the annual eligibility statements are very clear that all trips must start and end in the UK and last no longer than 31 days.
“We have carefully reviewed our customer’s case, and whilst we are very sympathetic to his position, unfortunately the trip could not be covered under the terms of our travel policy.”
A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are providing consular assistance to a British couple in Dubai”.
David Warburton MP, who represents the UK constituency where the couple last lived, said he is working to find an “urgent resolution to the desperate situation”.
He said: "We continue to urge the Embassy to give this matter their immediate and critical attention and I’m appealing to the FCDO to advise if there’s anything further that can be done to support and assist the White family."