“How can we help?”
A trip on the beach is something that most of us will look forward to on a holiday to a sunny destination. However, Amanda’s trip was something that she hopes will never happen again.
After a great afternoon sunbathing and a hearty meal it was time for Amanda to make her way back to her hotel for a snooze and to get ready for the evening’s fun. Something as simple as a loose tile was going to turn her upside down, literally!
The steps up from the beach had been walked a thousand times but just before reaching the top Amanda lost her balance after a step tile slipped beneath her. In a split second she found herself lying twisted on her side with what turned out to be a broken hip.
The staff of the beachside bar were quick to attend and called for an ambulance which duly turned up with professional medics. What she wasn’t prepared for was the common circumstance in Turkey where medical providers will ask for payment before proceeding with treatment. That was where it all started to go wrong. She was left in a waiting area for 2 hours in pain whilst she tried without success to contact family to help out. She had no means of payment, no copy of an insurance policy and the nearest embassy was 650 KM away.
That’s when a friendly porter asked her if she had called the Foreign Citizens Advice Centre which she said she hadn’t. Using his mobile, she got straight through to Jackie who asked “How can we help?”. Within minutes she was re-assured that someone would explain her options to her and help with any language difficulties. Without insurance, Turkish private hospitals will often refuse to treat foreign patients with no visible means of payment. Jackie was able to not only get Amanda the treatment she needed but was able to arrange for payment at a later date.
A few days later, after Amanda was feeling much better, Jackie was able to book a nurse to visit to change dressings at her hotel before arranging for her flight to be put back to allow her enough time to recover. Amanda was able to get back to full strength and travel home after a couple of weeks. Shortly after she arrived back, the Foreign Citizens Advice Centre was delighted to get a thank-you card in the post and, knowing that the advice centre is a charitable association, included a generous donation.
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