Sunderland couple’s dream holiday turned into £10,000 nightmare

Vince Graham and his wife Carol, who had a stroke while on holiday.
Vince Graham and his wife Carol, who had a stroke while on holiday.
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A COUPLE face remortgaging their home after a summer break turned into the holiday from hell.

Carol Graham suffered a stroke on her third day in Marmaris, Turkey.

The 61-year-old, from Grindon, felt unwell while sunbathing at her hotel. Two hours later, she started vomiting blood.

After being taken to hospital, the mum-of-one and grandmother-of-four was told she had had a stroke which caused a blood vessel in the back of her head to burst.

A shunt was fitted to release the pressure and blood from around her brain.

Husband Vincent, 52, a lorry driver for Sunderland printing business Edward Thompson, said it was horrific.

“Every time I wasn’t with Carol, she would cry,” he said. “She was in hospital for about a week.

“She told me to go home, but I told her there was no way I was leaving her there by herself.”

Since returning to England on July 11, Carol has received treatment and undergone tests at Sunderland Royal Hospital to determine the cause of the stroke.

Travel company Thomas Cook and insurance firm White Horse told the couple their travel insurance was not valid because Carol had not declared a heart condition which she had consulted a doctor about in the last six months.

“I had to walk the streets looking for somewhere else to stay because Thomas Cook wouldn’t give me anywhere,” Vince said.

“We were only supposed to be there a week and ended up being in Marmaris for 11 days.

“I had to find a way to pay for the flights home. I couldn’t afford it, so Edward Thompson said I could use my company credit card.”

The couple were on holiday with Carol’s sister Olive Berrows, 59, and her husband Geoff, 60, who live near Worcester. They said they are grateful to Vince’s uncle, John Britton, 58, of Springwell, who paid the £10,000 Turkish hospital bill.

“It was £1,000 a day for the hospital treatment,” said Vince.

“I think I’m going to have to remortgage the house to pay him back.

“Without him and Edward Thompson, I think we would still be stuck out there.”

Vince claims he was told by the travel agent that they did not have to declare Carol’s heart condition when booking.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook, said: “We were very sorry to hear of Mrs Graham’s illness and hope that she makes a full recovery.

“Tragically, people can fall ill while on holiday, and we would like to remind all our customers of the importance of declaring any pre-existing medical conditions of all those people travelling and anyone else on who travel plans depend, when purchasing travel insurance.”

The couple’s insurance claim has been declined by White Horse.