A British woman fighting for her life in Turkey has been told she cannot be repatriated to the UK unless she dies, her family has claimed.
Carole Fleming, 67, collapsed with a mystery illness while visiting her daughter Stephanie Uyar’s in-laws in August. Turkish doctors at first believed her condition was caused by medication for breast cancer, which she overcame last year, with their initial diagnosis causing her insurance cover to be revoked.
But, they have since changed their minds after taking her off the medication and seeing her condition worsen. Ms Uyar said the family are now having to pay £1,000 per day for Ms Fleming’s treatment while the insurance company looks into her case.
It is suspected Ms Fleming has a blood disorder, which could be related to potential bone marrow deficiency. When she first entered hospital on August 18 her platelet count was just 6,000 per microlitre of blood, before it dropped to 1,000. The minimum safe level is 150,000.
This means the mum-of-two needs regular blood transfusions just to stay alive, and has regular nosebleeds and blood blisters due to her inability to form clots. Ms Uyar said she has also seen her mother ‘cry blood’ in the hospital.
The family are now trying to raise £25,000 for a commercial air ambulance to bring Ms Fleming back to the UK. But before moving her can even be considered, she will have to undergo immunoglobulin therapy, which would raise the family’s costs to £10,000-a-day.
Ms Uyar says doctors can’t start their treatment until they know it’s being paid for, and so-far the family have only been able to put together £7,000.
She told the MailOnline: ‘When the doctors said they couldn’t start treatment without the money, I immediately asked if there was a form I could sign where they’d start it and if I didn’t pay, I’d go to prison.
‘I don’t care how bad the prisons are out here. I don’t care if it’s 15 years, 20 years, 25 years – I’d do that time in a heartbeat if it gave mum a chance of making it.’
Ms Uyar described her mother as her ‘best friend’, and said she has only left her side for two nights since she was first admitted to hospital.
She said doctors gave Ms Fleming 48 hours to live on August 18, but noted that her mum is ‘refusing to give up’ and has said she doesn’t want to die in Turkey.
Ms Uyar also claims that the British Consulate have said there is nothing they can do except repatriate Ms Fleming if she dies.
She went on: ‘It’s like I’m trapped in a horror movie. The things I’ve seen and witnessed in the last three weeks, I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy. No child should see their mother in a condition like that.
‘To see the woman who’s always been my rock, who’s always been there to help me, to see her so vulnerable in a strange place. I’ll have nightmares about this ward for the rest of my life.’
She added: ‘I might lose my mum and my best friend because of an insurance loophole, and that’s what’s hardest to come to terms with. It’s not right that my mum could be taken away because of a form in an office somewhere.’
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: ‘We are in contact with the family of a British woman who has been admitted to hospital in Turkey.’
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