Family must raise £25k to fly Bromley-by-Bow grandmother home after she suffers a heart attack in Turkey
PUBLISHED: 17:33 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:46 01 August 2017
A family have launched a £25,000 crowdfunding campaign to get their mum back home to Bromley-by-Bow after she suffered a heart attack on holiday in Turkey.
Heather Pyke, a 62-year-old carer from Fairfoot Road, was taken ill on July 22 - two days into a family holiday with two of her daughters, a niece and her grandchild.
“She didn’t feel well enough to come on a boat trip with us,” her youngest daughter Danielle Pyke, 26, told the Advertiser.
“We got back to the hotel to find her unconscious in her room and couldn’t rouse her. A doctor had to resuscitate her and she was rushed to hospital.”
Heather did not take out travel insurance because she thought her European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would cover her in Turkey.
However the EHIC is invalid because Turkey is not a member of the EU.
The family now has to raise funds to pay for her medical bills and an air ambulance to fly her home once she’s been stabilised.
“It was a nightmare when we realised her European Health Insurance wasn’t valid,” Danielle added.
“We are desperate to get her back. She needs to be with her family and my niece whose she’s bringing up who keeps crying for her.”
Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick has contacted the Foreign Office to try and get Heather back home.
He said: “It’s distressing for any family who suffer ill health abroad — but it shows how important it is to make sure you have adequate travel insurance before going abroad.”
Tragedy has struck the family before. Heather’s brother Keith Sinclair, 60, was stabbed to death in his flat in Bow Common in May.
Her husband Eddie died leaving her to raise four daughters on her own.
One of her daughters died in childbirth in 2010 and she raised her granddaughter Scarlet, now aged seven, who was with her on the family holiday.
Heather’s nephew Dean Harding, 40, was featured in the Advertiser in 2005 recovering from brain injury and now works as a peer mentor at Headway East London charity’s recovery centre in Shoreditch.
Dean’s online crowdfunding to bring Heather home has so far reached £5,000.