A retired couple from Birmingham booked a de luxe vacation in paradise. Or so they thought.
The paradise was Cuba.
When the wife became ill she was taken to one of those wonderful Cuban hospitals everyone praises so much, but when the hospital staff discovered that she couldn’t pay, things began to get ugly.
From the British newspaper The Birmingham Mail
Widower talks for first time of ‘hell’ at losing Sheila Dumbleton during dream holiday on paradise isle
A grief-stricken pensioner said his wife was “left to die” in a Cuban hospital – because they could not pay a £20,000 medical bill.
Ray Dumbleton said he was even banned from saying a last goodbye to his beloved Sheila, his soulmate of 34 years, as her body lay alone .
The 67-year-old, from Frankley , said his ordeal was like “hell on Earth”.
He said: “If you think of a World War Two scene, then that might just start to come close.”
Sheila died in hospital in Holguin, Cuba, after falling ill on the sixth day of what had been planned as the couple’s ‘dream holiday’. Despite taking out ‘gold cover’ travel insurance, she was unable to claim for her medical treatment and was left with a £20,000 medical bill.
The 57-year-old, who suffered a stroke, a bleed on the brain and other complications, died while she was receiving treatment in hospital.
Now, her distraught family have been ordered to settle her medical bill to pay and must also find an extra £7,000 to bring Sheila’s body home.
“It felt that, as soon as the hospital knew we couldn’t pay, they left her to deteriorate,” Ray said. “All the doctors kept saying to us was ‘payment, payment’ but we didn’t have the money to give them.
“The conditions in that hospital were horrendous – something I find hard to put into words.
“There were dead bodies left uncovered. “It was as if they didn’t care about people’s dignity.”
“They wouldn’t even allow me to see my wife’s body and pay my last respects to her. They just kept saying it was Cuban law.”“
I will never get that chance again. They have broken my heart, “I kept saying: ‘Forget Cuban law, I want to see my wife’. “But they would not allow me that last moment with her.
“I felt powerless over there.”
“At one point they even threatened to put me into prison if I carried on demanding to see her.