Local News

Paralysed expat appeals for help to return to the UK

A family in the UK is applealing for help so they can fly a Rotherham granddad - left paralysed after a freak accident on Fuerteventura - back from the Canary Islands.
Sixty-three years old Steven Griffiths suffered a broken neck after the accident last November and has been in hospital in Gran Canaria ever since. After two operations he is still unable to move or feel anything from the neck down.

Now his distraught family in Rotherham are desperate to bring him back to England where the grandfather of four would be transferred to the specialist Spinal Unit at Sheffield's Hallamshire Hospital.

Medi Aviation, a York-based medical repatriation company, which specialises in cases like these, have agreed to help the family and is working with them to help raise funds to bring him back home. However, the family are struggling to raise the £22,000 needed to get him home as the they don't hold sufficient medical insurance to fly him back to Britain.

Son-in-law Richard Bramall of Rawmarsh, Rotherham described it as "nightmare situation". He said:

"It's nearly three months since the accident and we just want to get Steve back home to get specialist care. It was a freak accident that has resulted in horrific consequences. Steve was simply helping someone in a wheelchair down two steps when he tripped and broke a bone in his back. Ironically, the accident happened on the same set of steps where the lady in the wheelchair had suffered a similar accident a fortnight previously."

"My in-laws spend several months each year in Fuerteventura and thought they were covered insurance-wise. But one good deed has revealed they were not covered for specialist flights home. My mother-in-law, Roslyn, is obviously still out there in Fuerteventura and is making the trip to Gran Canaria to see Steve every two days. But money is running low and she fears that she will have to return to her home in the next couple of weeks - leaving her seriously-injured husband alone in a far-off country.

"This has been heart-breaking for the family because we feel so useless being so many miles away. We would advise anyone travelling or living abroad to check their insurance cover in fine detail because we would hate anyone to go through what we are going through at the moment."

Fundraising is now underway with a vengeance – Sheffield Steelers have given their support to the campaign and are holding a bucket collection at their game against Nottingham Panthers on 14th February but more needs to be done.

If you would like to contribute or help in any way please contact Richard Bramall on 07878259555 or visit www.justgiving.com/stevensfund website to make a donation.