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Traveling Without Insurance

Corfu honeymoon plunge bride returns home after hundreds pay flight costs

Andrew Hough  Aug 20, 2010

A bride, Carrie-Anne Freeland, stranded in Corfu after being paralyzed following a 30-foot hotel balcony plunge, will be able to return home for treatment after generous strangers helped meet the travel costs.

The 27 year-old was left paralyzed in a Greek hospital after breaking her spine in three places during the weekend.

The primary school secretary had lost her footing and slipped from her hotel balcony after returning from a romantic meal with her 29-year-old husband.

She and her new builder partner, Michael Dudbridge, were left stranded in the Greek islands with just 50 euros after making the ‚Äúsurprise‚ÄĚ wedding gift trip without any target="_blank">travel insurance.

They wrongly believed they were covered by the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), commonly referred as the E111, if anything went wrong.

While the card guarantees Ms. Freeland will ‚Äúreceive the same level of medical health care as a local resident,‚ÄĚ it does not cover any other costs.

The couple, from Lewisham, south London, had flown to Corfu after guests paid for the honeymoon tickets following their decision to save for a house.

But after Ms. Freeland was left fighting for her life, Mr. Dudbridge was left with the heartbreaking prospect at not being able to pay for her to fly back to Britain.

After Saturday’s incident, two days before their dream holiday was due to end, Mr. Dudbridge launched a website to raise the estimated £16,000 needed to fly his new wife back to the UK.

In less than 24 hours since their plight was reported in national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph, more than 400 generous strangers came forward and raised the money. One generous donor even donated £5,000.

It means she will be able to fly home in an air ambulance plane, complete with stabilizers, for treatment in a British hospital.

Her mother, Linda, said: "This is just brilliant news. We can't believe the outpouring of support that we've had from the public.

"We just want to thank for them for being so supportive at this difficult time. Hopefully now we can get Carrie home as soon as possible."

Her best friend Zoe Bayntun, 27, added: "It's amazing we've already exceeded the total.

“This will be a massive relief to Carrie and Michael and all their friends and family."

They couple, who were together for a decade before their wedding on July 31, are now awaiting medical clearance and assessments on Carrie's condition before they are able to fly her back.

The repatriation company who will bring her home are waiting for vital paperwork to be signed off before she can be flown back to the UK.

Corfu honeymoon plunge bride returns home after hundreds pay flight costs
Carrie-Anne and Michael on their wedding day / Photo by Stian Alexander


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