Charline Edwards suffered spinal injuries after a freak accident on holiday in Cape Verde, and would need to pay £40’000 to return home on a medically-assisted flight
A British woman has suffered spinal injuries after a freak accident where she was swept out to sea on holiday in Cape Verde.
Charline Edwards, from Sutton Coldfield, was left in excruciating pain and unable to feel her arms or hands after the accident on the Atlantic Ocean island. Her boyfriend Callum Aston said it took three hours to get the 24-year old to hospital and they now face a bill of £40,000 to bring Charline home as she requires medical assistance and was not insured.
The accident happened last Thursday, three days before they were due to fly home. The couple discovered Charline had suffered a nerve injury in her spine, but will not know the severity until she has an MRI scan back in the UK, Birmingham Live reports.
Explaining the accident, Callum said: “The water was a little choppy but nothing too serious. The flags were green, telling us it was safe to swim. We were less than waist-deep in the water, Charline was lying on her back floating in the water relaxing. Suddenly a very big wave landed on top of her.”
“When I eventually stood up myself from the wave, she was nowhere to be seen. She was about 20 yards down into the water, where it had dragged her back out to sea.
He added: “I was begging for help, asking them to call an ambulance. It took them more than 30 minutes for them to call an ambulance and over two hours for paramedics to arrive on the beach when I managed to find her.”
According to WalesOnline, Callum said that he had to swim against the current to drag his injured girlfriend back to the shore. “Eventually when I got her to the beach, an elderly couple who had spotted us in the distance tried to help me carry her,” he said.
“After about five minutes, the lifeguards came over but at that time, she couldn’t move anything from her neck down. But the lifeguards were trying to drag her by her arms and legs up the beach. I said ‘You can’t do that, she’s hurt her back, it’s going to cause more damage.’
“After the two hours the hotel manager went and got a wheelchair for disabled guests and we had to carry the wheelchair off the beach. So from the minute of the accident, it took over three hours while she was lying in excruciating pain, shouting and calling for help.
“She had to be wheeled all the way to the other side of the hotel to a main road to get into the ambulance. The care in the hospital, which is the only English-speaking hospital on the island, has been abysmal.
“I had to lift her in and out of a CT scanner because there was no staff available to help.” Callum said: “She’s been left in her own urine for two days because doctors won’t change the sheets. The entire time I’ve been there fully feeding her, trying to wash her, clothe her, change her, making sure she constantly has painkillers, she’s been given no support by the doctors at all.
“We’ve had a really bad experience in the hospital. We’re worried that, if we can’t get her home, her injury could become long-term because there’s no MRI scanner on the island so we can’t see how extensive the nerve damage is.”
Charline’s hospital bills have already hit £10,000 with the couple paying more for every day they are stuck on the island. Callum said. Charline has been told she cannot fly home on a commercial plane as she cannot sit up or stand on her own. The only options are a flight with a stretcher or an air ambulance.” A crowdfundraiser has been launched to help with the costs click here to make a donation.