The family of an uninsured Sheffield woman who suffered horrific injuries after plunging 50ft while sleepwalking on holiday in Spain today urged young people to get covered before going abroad.
Government officials and the family of Amy Wigfull made the plea after the 24-year-old’s near-fatal fall.
Amy had not paid for insurance because she believed she was covered for health emergencies by her European Health Insurance Card.
Her family now faces a medical and repatriation bill which could run into tens of thousands of pounds.
More than £10,000 has been raised so far to help pay the costs of treatment and getting Amy back to the UK.
She suffered a broken back, pelvis, shoulders and wrist, smashed teeth, bleeding on the brain and a punctured lung after sleepwalking out of a window in her holiday hotel.
Clare Duffy, Amy’s second cousin who was also on the trip to Spain, said: “If Amy had just taken the time to choose some insurance and spend the few pounds needed then some of this stress could have been avoided.
“I would say to all young people – just do some research, make sure the cover is decent and spend the small amount of money needed.
“It could be the best investment you make in the unlikely event things go wrong.”
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel association ABTA says 38 per cent of young Brits do not think it is necessary to take out insurance when they travel abroad.
Mark Simmons, Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister, said: “An accident or emergency abroad can end up costing thousands and it’s often the family who is left to cover the costs. Although we do what we can to support people who encounter difficulties abroad, the FCO cannot cover medical bills or fly them home.”
Victoria Bacon, from ABTA, said: “In extreme cases people have had to sell their house to cover the costs, or desperately try to get funds from their friends and family.”