An English traveler has been hit with a US $72,000 medical bill after falling ill during a cruise vacation in Mexico.
Joyce Kettle, 74, of Blyth, Northumberland, was traveling with friends aboard the Marella Discovery II last week when she began having difficulty breathing.
A doctor on board said she needed urgent medical attention so she was airlifted alone to a hospital in Cozumel, Quintana Roo.
The woman underwent heart surgery, which required three stents.
The mother of three, grandmother of six and great grandmother of four thought she had holiday insurance through her bank but later found that the policy only covered European trips.
Les Chrisp, the partner of Kettle’s youngest daughter, said the family had a hard time getting information from the cruise ship and the hospital and finished up up making contact with an English-speaking bar in Cozumel.
The manager of the bar contacted medical personnel on their behalf and about three hours later the family was told Kettle was awake and stable.
Chrisp and and Kettle’s daughter have flown to Cozumel to take the woman home.
Chrisp said the British embassy advised them not to fly to see Kettle, that instead they should save money to pay the medical bills.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to assist with costs.
Those totaled $72,662 exclusive of doctors’ fees as of January 30.