Woman and baby stranded abroad after failing to buy travel insurance

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The dangers of failing to take out travel insurance were again highlighted recently when the Daily Mail reported that a pregnant woman travelling to Spain had her baby 13 weeks early and is now stranded overseas.

Zowie Lyons and Sam Hilton decided to travel to Spain for a short winter break even though Zowie was 27 weeks pregnant. However, they had been given the all-clear by the midwife, so did not think there was anything to worry about. When they arrived, she began to have contractions, and their baby daughter Ellizeah was born on the second day by emergency caesarean.

Because the baby girl was born so early, she suffered from many problems and is still in intensive care receiving treatment. She has also had a number of operations. Currently her care is covered by the EHIC, but due to the seriousness of the problems she cannot go home on a standard flight.

The parents did not take out travel insurance, and they now need to raise £12,000 to pay for an air ambulance. Fortunately, they do not need to pay for the team of doctors who will travel out on the flight because these specialists are paid by the NHS.

The case is so unusual that there are question marks over whether an insurance policy would have covered the emergency flight in any case, but it is another example of how travellers have to prepare for the unexpected on holiday. Anything could happen, and the cost of medical care abroad can be very high, so it is always important to remember travel insurance even when going on a short break to a country as close as Spain.


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