AN INSURANCE company has done a U-turn by agreeing to pick up the medical bill for a woman who suffered a heart attack abroad.
Mother-of-two Andrea Salkeld, 35, from Sussex Road, Newton, suffered a suspected heart attack while staying on the Costa Brava and is in a critical but stable condition in Barcelona.
But when relatives contacted the company with which they had booked insurance for the week-long break they were told she was not covered because the wrong dates had been registered for her travel.
A spokeswoman for insurance underwriters Mondial Assistance said: “The policy was purchased for travel cover between 17th May 2010 and 24th May 2010.
“However, now that we have reviewed the case, we recognise that this may have been ‘human error’ on the part of Mrs Salkeld’s sister-in-law.
“Furthermore, we accept that the premium paid for the incorrect 2010 booking would have been the same as that covering the correct 2009 holiday period. Mondial Assistance will therefore accept liability subject to confirmation of any existing medical history from Mrs Salkeld’s GP.”
The Daily Express reported that it could have cost the family as much as £18,000 for Andrea to be flown back in an air ambulance if that becomes an option.
Andrea was taken ill last Wednesday in the resort of Callela.
Following treatment by a local doctor for nausea and dehydration Andrea suffered a heart attack and was not breathing for more than 20 minutes which means she may have suffered brain damage.
He mother Carol Jones, 60, of Hope, near Wrexham, has been keeping a bedside vigil at Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona.
Her brother Wayne has returned late on Sunday to his home in North Wales with wife Jeanette and their two children. Andrea is still in a coma but is now able to breathe without the aid of a ventilator.
Chester MP Christine Russell, who has offered to help the family, said: “It’s a timely reminder that people must make absolutely certain that they have checked the small print and that they have got insurance cover, including medical insurance.”
Andrea’s neighbour Julie Ross said: “I had a phone call from someone who had seen it in the paper. I just hope she’s all right.”