A British tourist is stranded thousands of miles from home in hospital after being swept out to see by a freak wave – and she doesn’t have travel insurance.
Charline Edwards, a 24-year-old from Sutton Coldfield, said she was left in “excruciating” pain after being dragged down by the ocean while spending time on a beach with her boyfriend in Cape Verde.
She has been left with a nerve injury to her spine, leaving her unable to feel her arms or hands, though her partner, Callum Aston, said Ms Edwards would need to be taken to a hospital in the UK for a thorough examination of her injuries.
A crowdfunding campaign has now been launched by Mr Aston’s mother to bring her home from the “abysmal” medical centre she is currently in, with costs thought to be in the region of £40,000. It states that “being young and taking a last-minute holiday off a colleague who could not go they forgot to take holiday insurance” and that they are both “frightened”.
The hospital bills have already reached £10,000, said Mr Aston.
He told BirminghamLive that the pair were in water that was “a little choppy” but that there were green flags marking the area as safe to swim.
“We were less than waist-deep in the water, Charline was lying on her back floating in the water relaxing. Suddenly a very big wave landed on top of her.
“When I eventually stood up myself from the wave, she was nowhere to be seen. She was about 20 yards down into the water, where it had dragged her back out to sea, when I managed to find her.”
He had to “swim against the current” to pull Ms Edwards back to shore, with a couple helping Mr Aston carry her.
“Eventually, after about five minutes, the lifeguards came over but at that time, she couldn’t move anything from her neck down. But the lifeguards were trying to drag her by her arms and legs up the beach. I said: ‘You can’t do that, she’s hurt her back, it’s going to cause more damage.”
“I was begging for help, asking them to call an ambulance. It took them more than 30 minutes for them to call an ambulance and over two hours for paramedics to arrive on the beach.”
Mr Aston claims that he “had to lift [Ms Edwards] in and out of a CT scanner because there was no staff available to help” and that doctors “intentionally kicked” her to see if she was in pain.
“She’s been left in her own urine for two days because doctors won’t change the sheets. The entire time I’ve been there fully feeding her, trying to wash her, clothe her, change her, making sure she constantly has painkillers, she’s been given no support by the doctors at all,” he told BirminghamLive.