Family’s battle to raise £55,000 to fly Finsbury Park grandmother on brink of death home
12:01 11 July 2012
A grandmother stranded in intensive care in a Jamaican hospital could die if her family is unable to raise enough money to fly her back to the UK.
Dorrit Fraser Francis, of Romilly Road, Finsbury Park, has spent 65 days fighting for life since suffering a cardiac arrest while on the Caribbean island for a relative’s funeral.
She started foaming at the mouth and her heart stopped beating for 20 minutes, and doctors have warned that she could die there if she can’t be flown home for better medical treatment in the UK.
But Mrs Francis, who turned 60 in hospital, couldn’t afford the high travel insurance premiums due to a previous illness, and now her daughter Kimone Lyle-English is desperately trying to raise the £55,000 needed for an air ambulance to bring her home.
She said: “The healthcare over there is pretty basic. They wouldn’t even give my mum a ventilator because they thought she wouldn’t survive, and a younger person needed the only one in the hospital.
“She needs to be back here – the doctors say her survival depends on it. She keeps getting infections and she won’t get any better. I will never complain about the NHS again.”
Mrs Lyle-English, who also owes £21,000 in outstanding hospital bills, continued: “I had to come home to work because I was completely out of funds.
“I was so stressed and exhausted I ended up in hospital when I got back. But I feel so helpless over here. I miss her so much I have been crying every day.
“My daughter Tehyana can’t understand why her grandma can’t wake up. It’s been the worst time of my life.”
“But I am so proud of my mother – she won’t give up.”
Mrs Francis is a volunteer for the Holloway Neighbourhood Group, based in the Old Fire Station in Mayton Street.
Eleni Joannou, centre coordinator, said:” It was such a shock, I was devastated when I found out. She is such a strong personality and when someone is larger than life like that you don’t expect something like this.
“She is very popular, a really fun person and always up for helping out.”
Anyone interested in making a donation to the family’s appeal can email firstname.lastname@example.org.