A critically-ill gran who was stranded in hospital abroad is back in Sheffield after Star readers helped raise thousands of pounds to bring her home.
Angela Noriega, of Manor Top, remains in a diabetic coma in the city’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital after falling ill during a girls’ weekend away in Benidorm last month.
The 57-year-old arrived in the city on Thursday night after being transported by road ambulance from the popular tourist resort.
Generous Star readers, along with Angela’s family and friends, raised almost £7,000 to fund the transportation costs after an online donation page was set up.
Angela’s step-daughter, Stephanie-Louise Pierce, aged 24, said it was a ‘tremendous’ to have Angela back surrounded by her family but she was still ‘extremely ill’ in the Neuro Critical Care Unit.
The teacher said: “Angela is finally home and being taken care of in a hospital in Sheffield, close to her family.
“Angela is still extremely ill and still in a coma. She travelled by road ambulance from Benidorm and was looked after by a fantastic crew. We have been astounded by the generosity of people who have shared our post and offered donations and help.
“We are keeping Angela’s page active as there is still money we need to raise for her future care and medical bills from the Spanish hospitals.”
Angela was found unconscious in her hotel room after a night out with friends during an annual weekend away. Her family believe she suffered a hypoglycemic attack, meaning her blood sugar levels were too low, after falling asleep and missing the trigger signs. She fell and suffered a severe head injury.
Her devastated family, including partner Mark Pierce, 48, launched a campaign to raise around £20,000 to fly her home on a special medical flight. The grandmother had travel insurance but the insurance firm let the family down and the policy is now under review by a team of solicitors and the financial ombudsman.
They were given renewed hope they would get Angela home when they were offered a special medical road ambulance by Salop Medical Services, a family-run ambulance service, based in Shropshire – slashing the initial transportation costs.
A donation page set up by Angela’s family raised almost £7,000 in just 24 days and the ambulance left Benidorm on Wednesday.
Angela’s son, Jamie, aged 32, said: “We want to thank Rob Wallace of Salop Medical Services for all that they have been able to do and everyone who generously donated to getting her back home.
“Doctors are still doing a log of scan and tests to establish exactly what happened.”
Angela’s family have asked that because of her condition, only immediate family visit her.
“Angela needs a lot of care right now and it’s important that we are allowing the doctors and nurses to do their job and not drawing their attention away from their duties,” added Stephanie.
n Anyone wishing to donate should go to the ‘Get Angela Home’ page at www.gofundme.com/7d67q88k