South Shields gran finally heading home after month-long holiday hell
A stricken South Tyneside gran is finally heading home - after enduring a month of misery in a 'third world' Italian hospital.
Elsie Bradshaw embarked on a dream week-long stay in Sorrento with daughter Jane on June 6 - but disaster struck when when she broke her hip in a fall just 12 hours after jetting into the country.
The 90-year-old mother-of-two has suffered hospital horror hell ever since, facing squalid conditions in a medical facility with no air conditioning in searing temperatures, ear-piercing sirens blaring throughout the day, graffiti etched on doors, medical equipment strewn on the floor and a ward room with no curtains for privacy.
She was left in a trolley for 36 hours before finally being given a bed in the hospital and faced an agonising 16-day wait before she finally underwent vital hip replacement surgery.
Devoted daughter Jane Bradshaw, who has remained at her bedside throughout the ordeal, has blasted the treatment she has received from her mother's travel insurers.
Jane fought tirelessly for her mum to be flown home and treated in the UK and says insurance company Just Travel initially agreed to transport her mum home before telling her the flight would be too dangerous just three days later.
Miss Bradshaw, 51, has praised the efforts of the surgical team who operated on her mother but says staff are over-stretched and under-resourced.
She says it is 'horrendous' that her mother has been stranded in an Italian hospital - with language barriers proving a problem - for so long.
She says it is relief that there is finally light at the end of a dark tunnel for her family.
The pair are due to fly back to the North East tomorrow, where Elsie will be given medical assessment at a local hospital.
Medics are flying out to travel home with Elsie and her daughter on a chartered flight.
Emergency Assistance Facilities (EAF), who deal with medical emergency claims on behalf of Just Travel, have told Miss Bradshaw it is safer for her mother to travel back on a chartered flight rather than an air ambulance due to air-cabin pressures.
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 said; "The flight is booked and the medics from the repatriation team are flying out.
"It is light at the end of the tunnel.
"It has been absolutely horrendous.
"You just feel so helpless. There has been delay after delay.
"The surgeon did an excellent job but they are so stretched that they also have to do the post-operation rehabilitation, such as walking my mother after the operation.
"If she had been in the UK, she would've up and out of bed for an assisted walk within a few hours.
"Here, she has only been able to have a walk three times in two weeks.
"Tomorrow will be day 31. It has been a nightmare."
Miss Bradshaw doesn't yet know what hospital her mum will be flown to, but she is relieved to be returning to home soil.
She is grateful for the huge outpouring of support she has received from friends and family back in South Tyneside and beyond.
A fundraising page set up in a bid to get Elsie flown back home raised over £1,400.