'No UK beds' for Telford man after heart attack in Thailand

Chris Masters stroking an elephant's trunk Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Chris Masters went on an elephant ride in Bangkok the day before he had a heart attack

A British tourist recovering after a heart attack in Thailand claimed there was no hospital bed for him to be transferred to back home.

Chris Masters, 44, was "a picture of health" before he was taken ill while on holiday with wife Yvonne last month.

When he was fit to fly, his insurers said his local NHS did not have a bed.

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust (SATH) said it had been "very busy recently" but had now found a bed for Mr Masters.

More on Chris' story and other news from Shropshire

Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Yvonne and Chris Masters enjoying their holiday before his heart attack

Mr Masters' family was "desperate" to have him home and suggested he was sent to an intensive therapy unit near his parents' home in Birmingham or anywhere in the UK.

But Mrs Masters said their insurer, MAPFRE Assistance, told her "hospitals outside a patient's catchment area would not consider accepting a patient unless under extreme circumstances."

MAPFRE said its medical team had received information that confirmed Mr Masters was fit to fly and it was working on bed admission in the UK.

Image copyright Yvonne Masters
Image caption Chris Masters' family is "desperate" for him to come home

Debbie Kadum, chief operating officer at SATH, said: "Our hospitals have been very busy recently and we would like to apologise to this gentleman's family for the delays they have faced in repatriating him.

"We have identified a bed for this gentleman and understand that the repatriation team and hospital staff in Thailand are aiming for him to be transferred to one of our intensive therapy units once a flight is available."

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