Jersey woman facing £2,000 a day hospital bills after falling ill abroad

A couple from Jersey are facing £2,000 a day medical bills after one of them fell ill while on holiday.

Angela Schei and her partner Suzette were in South Africa when Angela fell dangerously ill with pneumonia.

Angela has been in intensive care on a ventilator for a week and is being fed through a tube, but the couple's lack of travel insurance means they are paying large sums for the care.

Suzette, an ICU nurse in Jersey, did start to fill out the travel insurance form but left it incomplete whilst she was on a break during her night shift.

She says: "In my mind, I had settled our travel insurance, and I've travelled to South Africa so many times, it's not a place you come without travel insurance."

This was the first time Suzette (right) had been to South Africa without travel insurance. Credit: Suzette Jansen Van Rensburg

Whilst Angela has woken up and her condition has improved, Suzette says she has a "long road ahead".

She says nurses in the private hospital are slow to implement treatment, and that when Angela's oxygen levels became dangerously low, they took their time to provide the oxygen she desperately needed.

"I have to continuously fight and prompt for the nurses to do what an intensive care nurse should be doing."

Angela's 16-year-old daughter Amelia, who is currently staying with her grandmother, says she has not seen her mum in over a month and is desperate for her to return home.

"It's just so uncertain to have her halfway across the world, not being able to talk to her, not being able to see her."

Amelia says the only contact she has had with her mum throughout her illness has been through Suzette. Credit: ITV Channel TV

When describing her mum, Amelia says: "She's always been there for me, she's always let me express myself how I want to and taken care of me.

"She always helps everyone, and she'll always strike up a conversation with anyone when we go out, and if she sees an old friend she'll talk to them forever."

To help support the family, Suzette's friend Anne has launched a fundraising page.

In just three days they have raised more than £13,000 to help cover the repatriation costs of bringing Angela back to Jersey when she is medically fit enough.

Amelia says she feels useless and helpless as she sits at home waiting to hear updates on her mum's condition. Credit: Suzette Jansen Van Rensburg

After witnessing the results of the fundraising effort, Suzette says: "I was absolutely astounded at the generosity of people, some were giving really large sums of money, people that I don't even know."

When asked what she would say to others thinking of taking a trip abroad, Suzette says: "Your health is more important than anything, and the most important thing is making sure that all your travel insurance is intact before you leave."