Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Terminally-ill mum flown home after insurance refusal

The Gates family Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lindsey Gates, her husband Jason and daughters Brooke and Charley were on a 'bucket list' holiday in Florida

A terminally-ill woman, who was stuck in a US hospital for more than two weeks when her insurance firm refused to pay out, has been flown back to the UK.

Cancer patient Lindsey Gates, 40, broke her leg during a "bucket list" trip to Disneyworld, Florida, with her family.

British Airways confirmed she had returned on a scheduled flight.

A fundraising appeal was set up to pay her medical fees after her insurance firm refused her claim.

Mrs Gates, from Emsworth, Hampshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and has been receiving treatment for secondary tumours since.

Friends and family helped to raise money to send Mrs Gates, husband Jason, and daughters Brooke and Charley, to Florida.

After she suffered a fall and was taken to hospital, Travel Insurance Facilities said it would not pay out after carrying out a full investigation which they said was "regrettably conclusive".

In a statement, the firm said: "We are truly sorry for the unfortunate circumstances - our thoughts are with them all at this difficult time".

'Truly thankful'

Since her admission to hospital on 21 June, Ms Gates has amassed a $131,000 (£101,000) medical bill.

A Go Fund Me website appeal was launched in a bid to fund the family's medical bills and travel costs.

Friend Rikki Wilson posted on Facebook that Ms Gates had been transferred to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth after the flight. "I can tell you they appreciate everything that everyone is doing, they are truly thankful of everything."

She had previously posted that the insurance company had cited an unrelated medical condition from her past as a reason not to pay out.

A BA spokesman said: "As soon as Ms Gates was able to travel, we made arrangements to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible and the family had all the support they needed throughout their journey."

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