Birmingham & Black Country

Maxine Howell: Critically ill woman flies back from Mexico

Maxine Howell Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Maxine Howell was celebrating her 50th birthday in Mexico when she fell ill

A woman who fell seriously ill in Mexico but found insurers would not pay her £200,000 medical bills has returned to the UK for more treatment.

Maxine Howell, from West Bromwich, flew back in the early hours of Sunday and was taken to Sandwell Hospital.

She had been celebrating her 50th birthday in Cancun in January but was taken ill with pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

Her daughter Aneke Pye, 32, said her mother was in a critical condition.

"[The journey] took 24 hours with a few stops as my mum's heart and lungs were struggling," she said.

Insurance firm Axa would only pay 10% towards her medical costs, saying she failed to disclose she had been prescribed an inhaler.

However, her family said she had never used it.

Axa said it was looking into the case.

The mother-of-three has been in an induced coma at CostaMed hospital, in Playa del Carmen, Cancun, since falling ill.

A crowdfunding page to help with medical bills has been set up by the family, which has so far raised over £9,000.

Ms Pye said: "It's one big nightmare.

"She was prescribed an inhaler in 2015 - but has never used it. We have no idea why she had it in the first place."

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