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Dubai ruler to pay medical bills of British woman after horse riding accident

The ruler of Dubai has pledged to cover Rebecca Chisholm's medical bills. Credit: PA/Wendy Skelton

The Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai has pledged to cover the medical bills of a woman who fell from a horse - leaving her in a coma with life-threatening head injuries.

Rebecca Chisholm, 24, from Nottinghamshire was working in Dubai as a secondary school teacher when she was involved in a serious horse riding accident. She suffered multiple skull fractures and a traumatic brain injury.

Her mum, Wendy Skelton from East Bridgford, said her insurance did not cover horse riding activities, leaving her with medical bills of more than £60,000.

In what Ms Skelton said was a "momentous day", she revealed that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had offered to pay all bills until Rebecca is discharged.

Wendy Skelton says her daughter is now able to hold a conversation for the first time. Credit: Wendy Skelton

Rebecca, who had the accident the day before her birthday on Friday 10 May, is currently recovering in Rashid Hospital. Her mum said:

She's doing a lot better now, she's been a bit perkier. But she's still very, very tired, eating or talking will really wear her out. From Thursday she was able to hold a conversation for the first time.

It was also then that we were officially able to say he [Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum] would be paying for her medical bills.

It's just such a relief as we do not have to worry about that anymore.

I'm just so thankful, it's wonderful. We can focus on getting her back home now.

– Wendy Skelton

However, Ms Skelton emphasised that Rebecca will have to remain in hospital in Dubai for another three weeks as her situation changes every day.

A fundraiser set-up on GoFundMe has also reached the target of £60,000, raising a total amount of £64,555 in just five days, which will go towards her medical care for a year after she gets home and the flight.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a statement issued to the family:

We do not hesitate to help and support the brother, the ill-fated friend or the needy wherever they are.

This is our message to the world, and this is the United Arab Emirates.

– Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai