A British mother is fighting for her life after coming down with a mystery illness in a Turkish hospital where treatment is set to cost her desperate family £10,000 per day.
The British Consulate told the family of breast cancer-survivor Carole Fleming, 67, that they can’t help bring her home while she is still alive, her daughter Stephanie Uyar, 36, said.
Ms Uyar is trying to raise £25,000 for a commercial air ambulance to bring the mother-of-two – who is currently in intensive care – back to Britain and into the hands of the NHS.
The family are paying £1,000 per day for treatment for a blood disorder related to a potential bone marrow deficiency – but daily costs are set to skyrocket to £10,000 as the doctor’s change their course of action.
British mother Carole Fleming, 67, (pictured in hospital) is fighting for her life after coming down with a mystery illness in a Turkish hospital where treatment is set to cost her desperate family £10,000 per day.
The British Consulate told the family of breast cancer-survivor Carole Fleming, 67, that they can’t help bring her home while she is still alive, her daughter Stephanie Uyar, 36, (pictured) said
Ms Uyar claims medics in Turkey mistakenly believed her mother’s illness was brought about by a medication related to her breast cancer – which she was recovered from last year.
The link to her previous condition meant her medical insurer would not cover the costs.
Doctors backtracked when they took Ms Fleming off the medication and her condition got worse. But the insurer won’t budge.
Ms Uyar was in Turkey visiting her daughter’s husband Alper Uyar’s family when she felt tired before collapsing on August 18.
She was rushed to hospital where doctors tested her blood. They found her platelet count was just 6,000 per microlitre of blood – the minimum safe level is 150,000. This means she’s unable to form clots, and needs regular transfusions just to stay alive.
She’s been moved around several hospitals in Turkey, and her platelet count is just 1,000 per microlitre.
Ms Fleming’s brother Ian, 55, told MailOnline how Turkish doctors mistakenly revoked her cover by telling the insurance firm the low platelet count was down to Carole’s breast cancer medication.
He raged: ‘They said Carole’s issues were a side-effect of hormone tablets she was taking for her breast cancer recovery.
‘But when she stopped taking them nothing changed. If anything, she got worse.
‘The doctors admitted they were wrong and the insurance company is looking into her case, but these things take time.
‘Every hour counts. At the moment all they can do is keep up the blood transfusions, but she needs immunoglobulin therapy just to get her in shape to fly home.
‘That costs £10,000 a day. So far we’ve dug deep to pay £7,000, but that kind of money just isn’t possible.
‘The doctors are ready and waiting to start, but they can’t do anything until they know who’s paying for it. That’s just how it works.
‘It’s such a difficult situation – if I was out in Turkey I would have lost my temper by now.
Ms Uyar was in Turkey visiting her daughter’s husband Alper Uyar’s family when she felt tired before collapsing on August 18. Pictured: Mr and Mrs Ulyar
‘Carole means the world to me. She helped raise me, she’s more than just a sister.
‘She’s just an incredibly kind, incredibly warm, caring person.
‘She spent her life helping disadvantaged kids into apprenticeships, and those success stories always gave her such a lift.
‘After all she’s done to help people, it’s awful to think that she could die because of something like an insurance error.
‘Steph has been amazing throughout all of this, her and Alper are just such an incredibly warm, supporting people who would move heaven and earth to help Carole.
Desperate Ms Uyar (pictured) said: ‘We are in a desperate Catch-22’
‘She’s going through hell, and probably feels like her mum is being unnecessarily ripped away.
‘I’m trying to be strong for them, but I feel so helpless. So utterly helpless.
‘There’s nothing we can do from the UK. We’re just sat here going around in circles while Carole is fighting for her life out in Turkey.
‘We called the Foreign Office and they said there was nothing they can do – but then told us they’d ‘repatriate’ her if she died.
‘We’re the fifth richest nation in the world. It’s not that we don’t have the means to fly a citizen home.’
Desperate Ms Uyar said: ‘The doctors here in Turkey need to progress rapidly with a course of testing and treatment starting with a bone marrow biopsy and continual treatment that may include a bone marrow transplant.
‘We are in a desperate Catch-22.
‘A regular traveller, she has long-term travel insurance.
‘However, a victim of a loophole in the terms and conditions of her policy, the insurance can not cover her treatment until there is a diagnosis specifying that it is not related to the breast cancer she survived.
‘Her immune system is now attacking her body at such a high rate she needs transfusions daily and is definitely not fit to fly as a commercial passenger.’
Ms Uyar, from Rochdale, added: ‘We need to get her back home to the wonderful care of our precious NHS, but without medical repatriation via a commercial air ambulance service, her Turkish doctors, wisely, cannot sign her out of care to fly.
‘The lowest quote we have for this cost is £25,000. The British consulate, both here in Turkey and back in London can not help us. If she dies, they will repatriate, but not whilst ill … alive.’
Ms Uyar said: ‘We all have a mother so please please look into your hearts and help me get mine to safety! We are desperate and hopeless and in severe danger of her having to be left here to die. No human being deserves this in this current world.’
To donate to Ms Uyar’s air ambulance appeal, click here.
The Foreign Office have been approached for comment.