- Denise Griggi was rushed to hospital shortly after landing in California
- Family have been hit with bills of £167,000 that are not covered by insurer
- They have also been told a medical flight home will cost a further £150,000
- Desperate appeal has been launched to try and raise the £175,000 shortfall
A British woman has become trapped in America after falling ill during a visit to her daughter – and racking up medical bills of more than £300,000.
Denise Griggi, 63, travelled to California with her husband Dario, 69, but had to be rushed to hospital shortly after landing.
She spent two weeks in intensive care in San Diego with a heart condition and is now in a stable condition.
A desperate appeal has now been launched to try and raise the £175,000 shortfall to get Denise home
But the family have already been hit with medical and care bills of £167,000 that are not covered by their insurance.
And they have also been told a medical flight home will cost a further £150,000.
A desperate appeal has now been launched to try and raise the £175,000 to get Denise home to St Columb, Cornwall.
Family friend, Victoria Walker, said: ‘The family has exhausted all of their financial resources and have recently found out that their travel insurance has been denied in the United States.
‘Denise’s husband, Dario, has been off work for a month with their daughter Lucia and they have both remained in the cardiac intensive care unit for the past two weeks.
‘Dario will be forced to return to the UK to continue working so he can help provide for his wife the best he can.
Denise Griggi (seated) travelled to California with her husband Dario (pictured), but had to be rushed to hospital shortly after landing
HOW TO PICK TRAVEL INSURANCE
MoneySuperMarket recommends at least the following level of cover:
• £2m for medical expenses
• £1m personal liability
• £3,000 cancellation – or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
• £1,500 baggage
• £250 for cash
• Policy excesses under £100
• Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
• Delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours).
‘Unfortunately they have no support.
‘Not only do they have a medical bill of well over $ 240,000 (£167,000), but after the cost of keeping Denise in the United States before she is medically cleared to fly is extensively growing.’
Denise – who developed coronary heart disease 20 years ago but managed it with medication – had developed early stage congestive heart failure during the ten-hour flight on January 7.
She was in intensive care for two weeks and, although now in a stable condition, is too unwell to return home to the UK on a standard commercial flight.
Daughter Lucia and friend Victoria have set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money to get Denise and Dario home.
So far they have raised nearly £5,000 of their £175,000 target.
Mrs Griggi spent two weeks in intensive care with a heart condition and is now in a stable condition
Victoria added: ‘I am asking for help for dear friends of mine, the Griggi family.
‘My hope for this campaign is to raise enough funds to get Denise, Dario and Lucia home to England.
‘These are some of the best people I’ve had the privilege of knowing and loving over the years. I am asking you to please help them in whatever way you can.’
The campaign can be found at gofundme.com/s6nzq8bb.
THE COST OF A HOSPITAL BED AROUND THE WORLD
Cost of a hospital bed
Travel insurance cost
Insurance policies for the over-50s, and particularly for the over-65s, often include some cover for some medical conditions.
Unfortunately it can be more difficult to get hold of reasonable-priced cover as travellers get older if they are in poor health.
Holidaymakers can use online travel insurance comparison services designed specifically for those with a medical condition.
Bob Atkinson of Travel Supermarket said: ‘When doing a pre-existing medical quote, have to hand a list of everything you have been treated for including medicines, dates etc. to be able to answer the questions honestly – any subsequent check up on the facts could result in a claim being rejected.’