A STRANDED pensioner is pleading with an insurance company to allow her to return home from a Spanish hospital
Mary Metcalfe, 77, broke her hip and pelvis after she fell on the first day of her holiday in Majorca about three weeks ago.
But despite being well enough to fly home, Mrs Metcalfe is stuck in Palmaplanas Hospital, Palma, as she waits for her insurers – Staysure – to process the claim.
Writing from her hospital bed, she told the Echo: “I had an accident and broke my hip, which has already repaired.
“I thought I was insured with Staysure, but I have tried all codes connected with them and got no satisfaction.
“My only wish is to return home.”
Friends back on Wearside have taken up the fight to get the widow, who has no immediate family, back home.
Neighbour Simon Greaves, of East Herrington, said: “She has her bags packed ready to leave the hospital.
“All the insurance company need to do is process the claim and contact the hospital to say she can leave, because they can’t discharge her otherwise.
“This is no good for her mental health – she is worried about her home.”
Simon, 48, a writer, said it has been difficult to keep in contact with the pensioner in hospital.
“It has been a struggle to speak her – I have only managed to get through to the hospital because I speak a little Spanish.
“Other people can’t get in touch because it’s difficult to understand.
“The hotel and Jet2 have been brilliant, but we just need the insurance company to say she can come home.
“You would think in this electronic day and age, they could send the e-mail easily.”
Simon said Mrs Metcalfe paid about £200 for her holiday insurance, which he said covered her for any accidents.
He has even offered to fly out and bring her home, to speed things up.
He said: “She feels she is being treated as a second class citizen. I told them I would go and get her, but I can’t because the insurance company need to process the claim first.
“It shouldn’t take this long. I’ve been blocked at every turn. I have nothing to gain from telling people about this other than to bring her home.”
In her letter, Mrs Metcalfe said all she wants is to be back with friends.
“I’m stuck here with strangers,” she said. “No matter how kind they are, I just want to be home with people I know and in familiar surroundings.”
A spokeswoman for Staysure said: “Staysure is working hard with the underwriters and claims handlers, along with the expert medical team on the ground who are making the decisions, to ensure Mrs. Metcalfe is brought home as quickly as possible and as safely as possible, and strongly refute any suggestion that she has been forgotten about or abandoned.
“Following the medical treatment she received following her accident, the priority was to ensure she recovered properly and was fit and well enough for the journey home.
“Since Mrs. Metcalfe was travelling alone, a medical escort was arranged to escort her home, and they are both due to return home to the North East imminently.”