Holidaymaker stranded in Caribbean after emergency surgery is finally due to head home to Wales
A Welshman who became stranded in the Caribbean after undergoing expensive emergency surgery is about to fly home, his MP has confirmed.
Allan Cox, 45, of Taibach, Port Talbot , had an operation on his pancreas while visiting his wife in the Dominican Republic for their first wedding anniversary.
Mr Cox incurred a medical bill of almost £70,000 as a result of the treatment and was unable to pay because of a mix-up over insurance.
He had his passport removed by officials in the Caribbean country but his family used social media to help raise money for his treatment and his MP Stephen Kinnock made representations on his behalf to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Dominican Republic embassy, and the hospital where Mr Cox was treated.
On Monday Aberavon MP Kinnock said he welcomed news that Mr Cox would now be issued with a “fit to fly” certificate and would be able to return to the UK.
The MP said: “Mr Cox’s family and his church have now been able to pay his medical bills in full and he is booked to return on a flight on January 5.
“I am very pleased to hear Mr Cox will shortly be returning to his home in Aberavon from the Dominican Republic.
“This has been an immensely difficult time for Mr Cox and his family, friends, community and well-wishers, and I’m sure they will all be greatly relieved when his plane touches down on Wednesday.
“I have worked closely with Mr Cox’s family during this stressful time, having made representations on their behalf to the FCO, the embassy in the Dominican Republic, and also to the director of the hospital where Mr Cox was based (with whom I was pleased to be able to put my Spanish to good use!).”
He added: “I was in contact several times with our ambassador out in Santo Domingo and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him and his team for their support.
“I wish Mr Cox a full recovery on his return.”
Members of Mr Cox’s family have said they would like to express their thanks to all the people who donated to the Gofundme social media fundraising campaign.
And they also passed on their thanks to organisations including the Aberavon Harlequins Rugby Club, the Port Talbot Liberal Club, the Gas Club and the Aberavon Beach Hotel for “their generous donations”.
Mr Cox was in the Dominican Republic to visit his wife Laisas who lives in the country. But he fell ill when gall stones became trapped in his pancreas.
He had flown to the Caribbean on November 15 but fell ill shortly after arriving and was admitted to hospital the following day.
Mr Cox had been due to have an operation on his gall bladder in the UK before going to visit his wife but did not want to cancel his flights.
He and Laisas married last year after meeting online through a Christian dating service and he was in the Caribbean country to celebrate their first anniversary as husband and wife.
Laisas is currently in the process of applying for a visa so she can join him in the UK.
His insurance company refused to pay for the costs of the operation claiming he failed to disclose he had a “pre-existing condition” and had already been due to have treatment on his gall bladder.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had offered assistance to Mr Cox and had been in regular contact with his family to provide support.
Mr Cox, a carer, was hospitalized in La Romana after falling ill and had an operation there to remove his pancreas.
Jan 5, 2016
Category: DR News |