A British couple were left stranded in Turkey facing a huge bill after their son was born prematurely in the country.
Louise Crawshaw-Bowen and her husband Stephen, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, were holidaying in Antalya when their son Wolfe was born seven-and-a-half weeks early.
The couple were left disraught after their insurance let them down and they faced bills of more than £51,000 for the birth and to fly their child back to the UK.
Insurance plan let couple down
Louise and Stephen travelled to Turkey after purchasing a travel insurance claim.
Wolfe was born via emergency caeserean section on 25 July.
Louise said: “Before we left I did everything I could to make sure everything was in place,” Louise said.
“I got a fit to fly letter from my midwife, I didn’t have any complications in this pregnancy. I’ve just been to my routine appointments and everything has been fine. I got insurance that I thought covered everything.”
However, after they made a claim to the insurance company to cover the premature birth of Wolfe, they were informed that premature birth was only covered up until eight weeks.
As Wolfe was born seven-and-a-half weeks early, his birth was just outside of this threshold.
Nail technician Louise and Stephen, who is in the British Army, therefore faced spiralling medical costs, including a specialised medical flight home. These costs could have climbed even higher if the couple were forced to stay put in Turkey until their child was healthy enough to fly.
Charities come to couple’s aid
The worried couple launched a GoFundMe page to help get their newborn back home.
Stephen told ITV News West Country: “Everyone that is a parent will understand what an amazing feeling it is to be a parent, and that experience has been ruined.
“The hospital was like a prison. They would not let my wife leave unless we paid them 4,500 euros. Our point was, we are not going to leave our premature baby in Turkey.”
The fundraised raised £9,000 to go towards the costs racked up by Wolfe’s birth.
However, it still left a significant shortfall for Louise and Stephen.
The couple were saved by charities who came to their aid, including Lucy’s Air Ambulance and the Royal British Legion.
Lucy’s Air Ambulance offered to pay £8,000 to fly the newborn home.
Meanwhile the Royal British Legion, which assists members of the British Armed Forces, has offered to pay for the remaining amount needed.
‘I cannot thank you all enough’
After the charities offers of help, the couple released a statement.
It said: “Our son is strong enough to fly home Via Lucy Air Ambulance for Children/Capital Air with the special care needed to get our boy home.
“He will return to the UK on Saturday the 6th of August, then straight to Bath NICU as soon as Louise & Wolfe land by ambulance where he will remain until he is well enough to finally come home.
“The remainder of the costs will be covered by Royal British Legion, who we can not thank enough.
“We would like thank everyone for supporting us back home and for everyone who has made it possible for us to get our boy home.
“We would also like to thank every single person who made a donation, I cannot thank you all enough.
“I hope some time in the future I can repay the kindness and generosity you all have shown me and my family.
“Please do keep following Wolfe’s page for updates. We would love to keep sharing our story with you all, it is the least we can do.
“If you would like to make a donation, please donate to Lucy’s Air Ambulance & Royal British Legion.”