Family’s bid to fly home critically-ill Sheffield gran stranded abroad

Angela Noriega
Angela Noriega
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Relatives of a grandmother who fell into a diabetic coma on holiday in Spain have begun a desperate appeal to raise thousands of pounds to bring her home

Angela Noriega, from Manor Top, was enjoying her annual girls’ weekend in Benidorm when she was found unconscious in her hotel room 10 days ago.

The 57-year-old is critically ill with a brain injury in intensive care – and now her devastated family have launched a campaign to raise £18,550 to fly her home on a special medical flight.

Her partner Mark Pierce, aged 48, and son Jamie, 32, flew out to the Spanish resort to be at her beside but have been forced to return home due to mounting costs.

The grandmother had travel insurance but the insurance firm has let the family down and the policy is now under review by a team of solicitors and the financial ombudsman.

Step-daughter Stephanie-Louise Pierce, 24, said Angela was discovered unconscious on her hotel room floor after returning from a night out.

“She had a hypoglycemic attack, which means that her blood sugar levels were too low,” she said.

“We think she has fallen asleep and missed the trigger signs.

“Her friends knocked on her door the next day but there was no answer. They presumed she was hungover so they went to the beach.

“When they came back they knocked again, but no answer so they broke the door down and found her.

“As long as I have known her she has always been self-sufficient with her insulin and very sensible with it. She has never had an attack like this.

“She is in a coma and has swelling on her brain, which was caused by a severe trauma when she fell.

“My dad and Jamie were allowed to see her for 30 minutes a day and tried to communicate with the doctors.

“The language barrier has been frustrating but we understand she is receiving round the clock care by a fantastic medical team.”

Stephanie said her dad has been left heartbroken and she is planning to fly with him to Benidorm this weekend. The couple have been together for more than 20 years and are well-known in the Manor Top area.

She said: “He is absolutely devastated and heartbroken. He is doing nothing but cry.

“He is gutted, he loves her to bits. There is nothing anyone can say to console him.”

The family has been quoted between £18,550 and £26,440 to charter a special medical flight home, but also need help with flights and basic accommodation for family.

More than £3,800 has already been raised through an online fundraising page in 24 hours.

Stephanie said: “Angela had a travel insurance policy which is currently under review by a team of solicitors and the financial ombudsman.

“As a family we need to start fundraising to be able to charter a medical flight for Angela to be able to be brought home into the UK.

“We understand this is a lot of money but we need to think about getting Angela home to her family.

“Secondly, staying unannounced in Benidorm is putting financial strain on us as a family. Angela received two nights of care first of all at a private hospital in Benidorm in their intensive care unit, which has cost nearly £5,000.

“Staggeringly her insurance company have decided to let us down, so we had to move her to the public hospital.

“Cost of flights and basic accommodation for immediate family are mounting up and we need help with financing these too.”

n Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting the ‘Get Angela Home’ Go Fund Me page at www.gofundme.com/7d67q88k