A British NHS nurse is in a ‘coma-like state’ in a hospital in Hungary after suffering a cardiac arrest while on holiday.
Kerstie Metcalf’s desperate family are urgently trying to raise £50,000 to bring the 51-year-old home so she can be surrounded by those close to her.
The cash would help pay off the medical bills, with the mother-of-two having been hospitalised since Easter Monday.
It would also cover the cost of an air ambulance, which would be equipped with the necessary breathing apparatus and monitoring systems.
The Government will not pay for Ms Metcalf, from Benfleet, Essex, to fly home, her family has been told.
Unable to repatriate her back home to the UK, Kerstie Metcalf’s family and loved ones have begun fundraising to help pay the mother-of-two’s medical bills and cover the cost of an air ambulance. Pictured above with her son Sam, 28
The senior wound care nurse – who works across south Essex hospitals including Basildon and Brentwood – has dedicated the last 30 years of her life working for the NHS
As Ms Metcalf is registered disabled, she didn’t have private medical insurance she found any kind of insurance ‘extremely’ difficult to obtain given the ‘high premiums’, her son Sam Metcalf told MailOnline. Pictured above, Kerstie, Sam and sibling, Bella
Her son Sam, 28, told MailOnline: ‘The embassy said they can’t do anything unless she died.’
Currently, the family have raised £15,000.
‘I know times are tough and not everyone has the funds to give a massive donation,’ Mr Metcalf said.
‘But any donation is welcomed and it goes a long way.
‘Every penny that is raised will get her one step closer to coming back home.’
Ms Metcalf and her fiancé Akos Hasznos, 43, travelled to Pécs in southern Hungary on Good Friday to visit his family.
Although registered disabled and recommended to shield once the Covid pandemic emerged, she continued working. ‘She said she wanted to do her part,’ Mr Metcalf told MailOnline
She was also ‘looking to retire out there as well,’ her son said.
But while watching her fiancé — a musician — perform on April 10, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated at the scene.
She was ‘heavily sedated’ by medics and put into ‘a coma-like state’ to protect her brain.
Doctors think she has irreversible damage because of her ordeal.
Her family now urgently await an official diagnosis in the UK, Mr Metcalf said.
‘She was resuscitated at the time and was brought back breathing. However, she’s since been in a coma-like-state ever since.’ he added.
As Ms Metcalf is registered disabled, she didn’t have private medical insurance.
She found any kind of insurance ‘extremely’ difficult to obtain given the ‘high premiums’, he told MailOnline.
Mr Hasznos, 43, has not left her side in the hospital in Hungary since her cardiac arrest.
Mr Metcalf told MailOnline the family immediately contacted the Foreign Office and their local MP, who advised them to speak to the British Embassy in Hungary.
The hospital in Pécs has however been in contact with Southend Hospital.
‘She’s got her release papers and there’s a bed over here for her if she does get the transportation sorted,’ he added.
The senior wound care nurse, who works across south Essex hospitals including Basildon and Brentwood, has dedicated the last 30 years of her life working for the NHS.
Although registered disabled and recommended to shield once the Covid pandemic emerged, she continued working.
‘She said she wanted to do her part,’ Mr Metcalf told MailOnline.
Writing on the GoFundMe, Ms Metcalf’s family said: ‘Any help or contribution will be appreciated more than we can say.
‘Let’s get our NHS hero home where she belongs.’