A COUPLE who went to Lanzarote on holiday are now facing a hefty bill to get home after one of them was struck down by a massive stroke.

In the early hours of March 14, on the same day the family was due to fly home, Ben Lord, from Gargrave, on holiday at the resort with his wife, Lyn, daughter, Ellis, and some family friends, suffered a massive stroke and a bleed on his brain.

The 55-year-old is currently in hospital in Arecife being cared for in intensive care while the family makes frantic plans to try and get him home when he is fit enough.

But Lyn was dealt a body blow when she discovered the travel insurance did not include repatriation and they would have to pay for ambulance plane travel which could be as much as £20,000.

Ellis stayed behind for a week with her parents and returned home on the 21st.

She said her father, a roofer with PS Armstrong, in Skipton, has been left with limited speech and no movement on his right side and while he is getting some speech back and is having physio, it will be at least April 30 before he will be well enough to fly back if this progress is maintained.

She said her father is understandably frustrated but is making some progress. He doesn’t, however, know yet that the insurance is not covering the flights.

“We haven’t told him because we didn’t want to upset him,” she said adding that one of the biggest problems is there has been total lockdown in Lanzarote for two weeks because of the coronavirus.

“My mum, who was able to move to a private apartment after the one they were in was closed, is not able to go and see dad. She can only go out to buy food and to visit the pharmacy. There are police all over the place and she has to have proof where she is going. She can’t even go out for a walk.”

Another problem has been communication with Ben.

“We did speak to dad briefly on the phone on Saturday and Sunday, thanks to the hospital passing over a mobile phone, but doctors have since said they can’t any more, probably because they are busy,” said Ellis.

She also said doctors over there, who she has praised for looking after her father so well, have said it could be much more than the £20,000 estimate to fly back due to his medical needs.

“We don’t know yet how much more it will cost, but we want to thank everyone who has donated to help us. The people in the village have been brilliant and so generous and the support from everyone has been unbelievable.

“Dad has never been ill in his life. He’s never been to the doctors and never had a day off work. This just came out of nowhere.

“It would have been bad enough as it is, but with the total lockdown in Lanzarote it just makes everything so much worse.

“I worry about my mum because she is on her own there with no one to talk to but she refuses to leave dad.

“Friends and family keep ringing her to keep her spirits up.”

So far the GoFundMe fundraising page has reached almost £19,000.

Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the couple’s flight home can do so at: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/s2rtj-bring-ben-home