Couple stranded abroad with desperately ill baby girl after she arrived 13 weeks EARLY – and they had no travel insurance
Zowie Lyons, 25, and her partner Sam Hilton, 20, had planned winter breakMiss Lyons was 27 weeks pregnant but had been given all-clear to flyShe went into labour on second day of holiday and baby Ellizeah was bornNewborn suffered several medical complications and is in intensive careIs so sick that needs to come home by air ambulance, which will cost 12,000Couple have no travel insurance, so are stranded unless they raise the funds
19:02 GMT, 22 March 2013
19:32 GMT, 22 March 2013
A couple who went to Spain for a quiet weekend before their daughter was born have become stranded after she arrived 13 weeks early.
Zowie Lyons, 25, and her partner Sam Hilton, 20, had planned a few days of winter sun, but failed to take out travel insurance.
Within hours of arriving in Alicante, Spain, Miss Lyons had gone into labour and baby Ellizeah was born the following day, weighing a tiny 2lb.
Stranded: Within hours of Zowie Lyons (left) and Sam Hilton arriving in Alicante, she had gone into labour and baby Ellizeah was born the following day, weighing a tiny 2lb
Ellizeah, now seven weeks old, has already had three major operations and needs specialised 24 hour medical care
Their daughter, now seven weeks old, has already had three major operations and needs specialised 24 hour medical care.
The couple, from Leeds, now need to raise 12,000 to bring her home safely from Alicante.
While Ellizeah could have the fourth operation she needs in Spain, her parents want to get her home to avoid living in Alicante indefinitely.
They are staying in a
nearby hotel to be as close to her as possible, but are
rapidly running out of money.
While Ellizeah's care has been covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – which covers emergency healthcare in Europe – the tiny newborn is so sick she needs to be flown home by air ambulance.
Miss Lyons, who was due to give birth early May, said: 'We were only going away for five days, and my midwife had cleared me to fly, so I thought everything would be OK.
'But we have been very unlucky. As soon as we landed on the Thursday I was having pains. And by the Friday I was having contractions all day and was taken for an emergency Caesarean.'
Fighting: She continues to receive intensive care round the clock
Ellizeah was born with digestive problems and needed to have a third of her intestine removed. She also had an enlarged heart vessel and a brain haemorrhage. She continues to receive intensive care round the clock.
Her mother said: 'Ellizeah was born with quite a few problems with her intestines and heart because she came so early. She is stable in hospital at the minute so we need to get her home while it is safe to do so.
'Even though we didn't have travel insurance, it may not have fully covered all the care Ellizeah needs to get her home. It's a complicated situation.'
The couple now need to raise cash to fund an aeroplane which can fly a specialist transport team to Spain to pick them up.
The specialist team will be provided free on the NHS by Embrace Yorkshire & Humber Infant & Children’s Transport Team, part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Plight: The couple now need to raise 12,000 to fund an aeroplane which can fly a specialist transport team to Spain to pick them up
Specialist doctors and nurses from
Embrace are currently on standby to fly to Alicante and bring Ellizeah
back to Leeds General Infirmary.
Embrace consultant Dr Steve Hancock, who is prepared with his team to go to Alicante once the funding is found, said: 'It's a very unfortunate situation the family have found themselves in. While our NHS care for the baby and expertise will come free, the plane still needs to be funded.
'Transporting critically ill babies and children can be very risky and not something which can be done in regular aircraft in case there are any complications.
'Our Embrace team use special road and air ambulances to provide mobile intensive care: a doctor and nurse is with the patient at all times to make sure they remain stable whilst on the journey.
'We want to make every effort to make sure this baby can get back home safely.'
For more information visit: www.justgiving.com/ellizeah-lyons or search for 'Ellizeah's support group' on Facebook.