Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Fears terminally-ill British mum will 'die in US' after insurance refusal

The Gates family Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lindsey Gates, her husband Jason and daughters Brooke and Charley were on a 'bucket list' holiday in Florida

Friends of a terminally-ill woman "stuck" in a US hospital fear she may die abroad after her insurance company refused to pay out.

Cancer patient Lindsey Gates, 40, broke her leg during a "bucket list" trip to Disneyworld, Florida, with her family.

Friend Rikki Wilson said her insurer was "well aware" of her condition and Ms Gates believed she was covered.

Travel Insurance Facilities said its investigation was "regrettably conclusive".

'Dream to disaster'

Ms Gates, from Emsworth, Hampshire, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and has been receiving treatment for secondary tumours since.

Friends and family helped to raise money to send Ms Gates, husband Jason, and daughters Brooke and Charley, to Florida.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lindsey Gates was hospitalised after she slipped and broke her leg in the bath

US doctors treating her broken leg also found her cancer had deteriorated further.

Since her admission to hospital on 21 June, Ms Gates has amassed a $131,000 (£101,000) medical bill.

Ms Wilson said Ms Gates' insurance company had cited an unrelated medical condition from her past as a reason not to pay out.

"It's a rip off, they are using a loophole from her medical history from years ago, it has nothing to do with her cancer."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Friends and family are fundraising to fly Mrs Gates home in an air ambulance

The family hopes to fly Ms Gates back to the UK in a special air ambulance, which they believe will cost £65,000.

A Go Fund Me website appeal has been launched in a bid to fund the family's medical bills and any travel costs.

Ms Wilson said: "A holiday of a lifetime has turned into a disaster.

"She's on borrowed time, the risk and worry is that she could pass away out there."

Travel Insurance Facilities said it would not pay out after carrying out a full investigation.

In a statement, the firm said: "We are truly sorry for the unfortunate circumstances - our thoughts are with them all at this difficult time".