Cruise passenger stuck in Madeira after falling ill on holiday

Dave Jagodzinski
Dave Jagodzinski
Picture: Franca Perletti

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A FAMILY must spend more than £23,000 to transport a seriously-ill man home after he became unwell on holiday.

Dave Jagodzinski fell ill while on a cruise with his wife Margaret.

The 62-year-old, from Bryson Close in Lee-on-the-Solent, developed a chest infection and now has a secondary urinary infection.

He was taken to hospital on the Portuguese island of Madeira – but has no way of getting home as his condition is too dangerous to allow him to fly, and there are no ferries that will take him back from the island.

Step-daughter Laura Chandler said the family have been forced to take out bank loans and borrow money from family businesses to pay for an air ambulance to take Mr Jagodzinski home at a cost of £23,500.

Their insurance company will not pay out because he has been discharged from the cruise ship.

‘What do we do? Do we just leave him there to die? He’s seriously ill,’ said 35-year-old Laura.

‘We are thinking about organising an air ambulance to get him home. The doctor said that’s our best option.

‘He needs a specially pressurised cabin, needs to fly at a low altitude and he needs a full medical team for the flight.

‘We have got an air ambulance on standby but they are waiting for him to stabilise. The hospital said this is it. He’s not getting any better.’

Mr Jagozinski is in a private hospital on the island which costs 4,000 euros a day as the family didn’t want him to be treated in a state hospital which is reportedly under-staffed and under-resourced.

‘My mum is going to be about £33,000 in debt,’ added Ms Chandler. ‘We are getting no help from anybody. I can’t even put it into words.

‘I’m frustrated and devastated. It’s horrific. What do we do? We can’t just leave him there.

‘They knew that this was their last opportunity to have a nice holiday.

‘My concern is if we don’t do it now, they won’t be coming home at all. He said to us, “if I’m going to die, get me back to Blighty”. He’s distressed because he’s not at home. If he’s got a good chance to recover, he needs to be at home.’

The family have been in touch with the British Embassy in Madeira, and are waiting to hear back from its offices in Lisbon.