Glasgow & West Scotland

Family's bid to return E.coli woman to Scotland

Caroline Hope
Image caption Caroline Hope contracted E.coli while being treated for colon cancer in Turkey

Relatives of a teacher who is seriously ill in a Turkish hospital have launched a desperate appeal to have her brought back to Scotland.

Caroline Hope, who is from Clydebank, was diagnosed with cancer in January while working as an English teacher.

She was initially successfully treated for colon cancer but has since become gravely ill after contracting E.coli.

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.

'Caroline is dying'

Her employer had taken out insurance to cover Ms Hope's stay at the Medical Park Hospital in Izmir. However, that insurance is due to expire at the end of July.

Her mother, Catherine Hope, told the BBC that the family did not have the money to pay for a private medical evacuation back to the UK.

Image caption Catherine Hope is due to fly out to Turkey on Wednesday

She said: "It's £29,000 to get her home. We thought the diplomatic service would help us, but they haven't."

Mrs Hope, who is flying to Turkey on Wednesday, said her son Scott had broken the news to her at the weekend about her daughter's 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'".

Mrs Hope added: "I was hoping that she would stay where she was until she was well enough and then I would go out and bring her back with me and get her admitted to a hospital or nursing home and then find out what they can do for her."

Mrs Hope's local MP, Martin Docherty, has written to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to raise the case.

Scott Hope said the family were desperate to move his sister back to Scotland, where she could be cared for by them.

Image caption Ms Hope moved to Turkey four years ago to teach English

He said: "I'm basically trying everything possible that a brother would do for a sister and I'm sure that anybody would do for a member of their family.

"When all options are basically down, the only option is to draw attention to our situation and basically beg on compassionate grounds that somebody is going to turn around from the Scottish government or from the UK government and say 'you know what, we're going to get this girl home'".

'Appropriate services'

Mr Hope said his sister's condition had deteriorated significantly in recent days. He said: "They've got a crash team in her room and they're very worried in terms of her blood pressure and her condition and what it is just now.

"We've got a limited time and a limited amount of funds to stay in Turkey and the thing that would probably kill me the most is my time running out and having to still leave her in that hospital."

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "This is a difficult time for the Hope family, and in these circumstances, we would expect the Turkish health authorities to contact the receiving NHS Scotland Board to discuss what healthcare support might be necessary on her return to Scotland.

"We are happy to bring this case to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the British Consul, so the appropriate services can be offered by them."

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they were aware of the case but refused to comment further.