Glasgow & West Scotland

Family hopeful of Scots E.coli woman's return to Scotland

Caroline Hope
Image caption Caroline Hope is gravely ill in a hospital in Izmir after contracting E.coli during cancer treatment

The brother of a gravely ill Scottish woman who contracted E.coli while receiving cancer treatment in a Turkish hospital says he is hopeful of getting her home at the weekend.

Caroline Hope, from Clydebank, had been working as an English teacher when she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Her recovery was undermined when she contracted E.coli during an operation to remove a tumour.

A JustGiving page has raised £31,000 for a medical evacuation to Scotland.

Current guidelines strictly limit the repatriation of UK citizens for medical reasons.

Ms Hope, who is 37, moved to Turkey four years ago to teach at an international school in the country.

'Truly overwhelming'

Her employer had taken out medical insurance to cover her stay at the Medical Park Hospital in Izmir, but that insurance is due to expire at the end of July when her contract of employment concludes.

Ms Hope's brother Scott Hope arrived in Turkey on Wednesday fearing the worst for his sister.

Image caption Scott Hope has travelled to Turkey to bring his sister home to Scotland

However, he told BBC Scotland: "She's mainly spent the day asleep, but she's still over the moon about everything that's happened. She can't believe that all the people have basically come together and have managed to get the money to get her home."

He added: "We're trying to finalise the paperwork. They required some medical reports that had to be translated into English. This has been one of the major setbacks.

"But her friends here in Turkey have been very supportive, the medical staff here have been great, the nurses have been fantastic and everyone is trying to pull together to get all this paperwork sorted so we can get her home as quickly as possible.

"I'm trying to give an estimate of maybe Sunday that we can get her back into the UK"

'Truly overwhelming'

Mr Hope said the doctors in Turkey had been in contact with doctors at the Beatson cancer treatment centre in Glasgow and that they were expecting his sister to be admitted there once she returned to Scotland.

He added that any money raised above and beyond that required to get Ms Hope back home would be donated to the Beatson.

Writing on the JustGiving page set up to raise £29,000 for the medical evacuation to the UK, Ms Hope's friend Bella Shek wrote: "We've smashed our target, unbelievable!

"Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much. We can now get Caroline home.

"On behalf of Caroline, her family and all her friends, the support from all of you and the general public, many of whom have never met Caroline before, has been truly overwhelming."

Image caption Catherine Hope said her son had told her Caroline was dying

Ms Hope's mother Catherine has also arrived in Turkey to help organise her daughter's return to Scotland.

On Tuesday, she told BBC Scotland that she was struggling to come to terms with what had happened to her daughter. She described how her son Scott had broken the news to her about her condition.

She said: "Scott said to me on Saturday, 'Mum, Caroline is dying'.

"He said, 'We've got to get her out of there. I've phoned the British Consulate and they said they can't repatriate as they don't have an arrangement with Turkey'".