‘WE’RE begging you, don’t let our Lindsey die alone in America – help us bring her home’.
That’s the emotional plea to the generous people of Portsmouth today by friends and family of a terminally-ill mum stuck in hospital in the United States.
It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime that’s turned into a nightmareSandy Mclachlan, of Portsmouth
Lindsey Gates, 40, was meant to be on the holiday of a lifetime at Disney World, Florida, with her husband Jason and her two girls after she was diagnosed with four inoperable brain tumours.
But last week she broke her leg when she slipped in her hotel bathroom.
Since then her dream holiday has turned into a living nightmare.
After a series of CT scans and tests, American doctors broke the devastating news that Lindsey’s cancer had spread into her bones and lungs.
It comes after an horrendous few years for the Emsworth mum-of-two, who battled breast cancer in 2010 and was given the five-year all-clear – only to be told she had cancer in the brain in April, following a sudden seizure.
Lindsey, who doctors say may only have three months to live, was due to fly back home today.
Now her family is faced with a whopping 115,000 US dollar medical bill – £87,000 – and needs a specialised air ambulance to fly critical Lindsey back to the UK.
Sandy Mclachlan is Jason’s aunt and is desperate to have Lindsey back home.
‘What’s happened is awful and we feel completely helpless,’ she told The News.
‘It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime that’s turned into a nightmare.
‘This was just an accident. No-one expected this to happen. We just want her to come home to her family and not to die in a different country, alone.
‘If I was dying I would want to come home to be with my family.’
Doctors in Florida have fitted metal rods and pins into Lindsey’s shattered femur, which has been weakened because of the bone cancer.
She is currently in the intensive care unit while she recovers.
Because of her frail condition she is unable to fly home on a commercial flight and needs a specialised air ambulance.
The family does have insurance and are desperately trying to negotiate with the company to pay for the treatment and flight.
But they don’t know how long this could take and fear that Lindsey could die before she returns home.
Friend Rikki Wilson, of Nutbourne, has set up a fundraising page in an effort to help pay for the Lindsey’s medical treatment and flight home.
The mum-of-three is desperate for people to rally and back the effort to get Lindsey home before it is too late.
‘The one worry for me is if she passes away out there with nobody with her,’ she said.
‘Nobody wants to be alone if they’re ill in hospital. They need their family and friends with them.’
A fundraiser by the family in May to pay for the once-in-a-lifetime trip generated almost £12,000 in a matter of weeks.
Ms Wilson hopes that Portsmouth would once again rally in the family’s time of need and help.
‘The people in Portsmouth and across the whole south, are the nicest and kindest people in the country,’ she said.
‘Southerners will always do what they can to help others. Please help us now.’
Lindsey, who lives in Greville Green, is desperate to complete the last two things on her ‘bucket list’ – a trip to Butlins, in Bognor, with her children Charley, 14, and Brooke, six, and a journey to Cornwall.
Today will see Rikki walking through the streets of Chichester in an effort to drum-up cash. She will also be trekking through Havant and Portsmouth in the coming days appealing for donations.
All those wishing to donate can visit ‘Lindsey’s Bucket List’ on Facebook or see Go Fund Me site, ‘Get Lindsey home where she belongs’.