A devoted daughter has spoken of her relief after her 90-year-old mum finally underwent successful surgery following a fall on holiday in Italy - but fears she will remain stranded in the country for another two weeks.
Grandmother-of-two Elsie Bradshaw, of Madeira Terrace, South Shields, was on a week-long stay in Sorrento Italy to toast her birthday with daughter Jane when she fell and broke her hip just 12 hours after jetting into the country.
Her 51-year-old daughter Jane says she has endured hospital horror hell, with her mother left on a trolley for 36 hours before finally being given a bed.
She described squalid conditions in the hospital as close to ‘third-world’ and desperately fought with insurers to fly her home to be operated upon in the UK.
Elsie was in hospital for 16 agonising days before she was finally brought into theatre for a hip replacement operation - but is now on the road to recovery.
Miss Bradshaw, who lives with her mum and will remain by her side until she is able to come home, says insurance company Just Travel initially agreed to transport her mum home last Tuesday, before telling her the flight would be too dangerous just three days later.
While Miss Bradshaw says the trip has proved a ‘nightmare’ she has praised doctors who operated upon her mother.
She says they brought the comforts of home across the continent by playing the national anthem as she was brought into theatre.
She said: “My mum is doing really, really good. It is such a relief.
“The hospital staff have done all they could to make her feel at ease.
“They even played the national anthem as she was brought into theatre.
“Mum was singing along with it.
“She has been sitting up and eating food.
“It is the most positive I have felt.”
Miss Bradshaw says her mum now requires around 7 to 10 days of recuperation before she is well enough to go home.
But she says Emergency Assistance Facilities (EAF), who deal with medical emergency claims on behalf of Just Travel, say it will be safer for her to travel back on a chartered flight.
Miss Bradshaw added: “They have told me it is more dangerous to fly in an air-ambulance due to air-cabin pressures and other factors so we will be out here until the next availalbe charted flight. That could be up to two weeks.
“The whole thing has been a nightmare. If we had been told this was the case from the very start it would have been so much better.
“My mum is the main priority and she is doing well, which is all that matters now.”
An EAF spokesman said the insurers had agreed to cover the cost of the claim.
The spokesman said: “Mrs Bradshaw has suffered a very distressing accident which has obviously made her family very worried about her overall health and well being.
“The insurer has agreed to pay the claim and the family will be refunded in full once the claims process has been completed.”
Miss Bradshaw has praised supporters who raised over £1,400 to fund a possible flight home for Elsie.
The pensioner’s insurance company will cover the cost of the flight home, which is expected to be early next month.
Despite her ordeal in Sorrento, Miss Bradshaw has not been put off a return to the country.
Herself a former holiday rep who has enjoyed many stays in the area, added: “I know Sorrento very well and I think I will be coming back with mum when she is well enough to return.”