Gwent couple in Jamaica vacation hell after quad accident
A GWENT couple’s trip to a Caribbean paradise has become a ‘horrendous’ ordeal after a quad bike accident left one of them seriously injured and effectively trapped, thousands of miles from home.
Heidi Pugsley broke her leg in two places and her wrist in three places when she and partner Cerys Atterbury fell off a quad bike in Jamaica last week.
Having been told their holiday insurance would not cover medical costs for the injuries, the couple now face a bill of thousands of pounds just to get home. Isolated and ‘alone’, the pair are in a race against time to return to Wales, where Ms Pugsley will require leg surgery.
“Wednesday [doctors] told her she needed to get home urgently,” Ms Atterbury told the Argus.[They said] ‘you need an operation – the longer you leave it the more serious it will become.'”
Ms Pugsley remains bedridden and ‘in a lot of pain’ and, having recently recovered from cancer, is at risk of developing blood clots, adding to the couple’s concerns after an ‘eye-opening’ experience at a local hospital, during which Ms Atterbury said she had to help a member of staff put a cast on her partner’s broken leg.
Although the couple took out a policy which included ‘hazardous activities’, this is currently disputed, Ms Atterbury said.
It means the couple now have to cover costs of around £8,000 for Ms Pugsley’s initial treatment at the Jamaican hospital, plus new plane tickets to get them home.
“It’s massive devastation,” Ms Atterbury said. “We’re on our own, basically. We’ve contacted the British Embassy but they can’t do anything.”
Reluctantly, the couple enlisted the help of the community to bring them home.
“Unfortunately, we had to create a gofundme page…to try to get her the care she needs,” Ms Atterbury said, adding that they were asked to pay $400 just to use a wheelchair at their hotel.
“We’re basically stuck here, trying to get the next flight we can possibly get home.”
She added: “We were literally left on our own.”
You can see the “Get Heidi home” fundraiser online gofundme.com/f/bxv4yf-get-heidi-home