GARGRAVE dad Ben Lord who suffered a massive stroke while on holiday with his family in Lanzarote is back in England and recovering in Airedale Hospital.

Mr Lord was flown back in a medical plane at a cost of nearly £30,000 after spending 24 days in a Lanzarote hospital intensive care unit.

He had been holidaying on the island with wife, Lyn, daughter Ellis, and friends when in the early hours of March 14, the day he was meant to fly back home, he collapsed in the apartment room and was rushed to hospital.

The 55-year-old roofer who hadn’t had a day’s ill health in his life had suffered a huge stroke and a bleed to the brain.

While the E111 was able to cover the cost of the hospital care, it would not pay for his repatriation and a family friend launched a fundraising page.

It was thought £20,000 would be enough to cover the expense but doctors at the hospital warned the family that the cost could be a lot more and in the end the tickets came to £29,600.

More than £21,000 was raised through GoFundMe.

Mr Lord’s daughter Ellis, said it was a worrying time for everyone and that they had been told her father may have to stay in hospital until the end of April, or until he was fit enough for the flight.

Ellis herself stayed behind for a week to support her mum, Lyn, and returned home on March 21.

She said her father, who worked for PS Armstrong, in Skipton, had initially been left with limited speech and no movement on his right side and was ‘very frustrated’.

But he soon made progress with his speech and after some physiotherapy, had a small amount of movement in his right arm.

The family purposefully didn’t tell him of problems with their insurance company so he would not worry.

In the meantime the apartment where they had stayed was closed when lockdown was announced and Mrs Lord had to find a privately let apartment where she could stay.

Mrs Lord refused to leave Lanzarote while her husband was in hospital even though she was not able to visit him.

The island was totally closed off because of coronavirus spreading rapidly around the world and even walks were not permitted, apart from going out to buy food or medicine.

To begin with they could speak on the phone to Mr Lord through one of the medics’ mobile phones, but eventually even this was stopped and they had to rely on updates from the hospital about his progress.

To the relief of the family, and after what seemed like a very long time, Mr Lord was finally given the all clear to travel.

Ellis told the Herald: “He has finally been transported to the UK to Airedale Hospital.

“Cega Group, the medical plane company, have been absolutely amazing and nothing but professional and helpful during this process.

“We cannot thank them enough.

“Dad’s speech has improved massively and he has begun to get some movement back in his right arm and leg which we hope will improve more in Airedale.

“On behalf of our family and friends I would like to thank everyone who has supported, donated and sent get well wishes during this very difficult and scary time.

“We look forward to having him home where he belongs.”

Ellis said the fundraising page raised most of the money they needed to pay for the ambulance flight back and the rest was raised by family and friends.

She said the family was still not able to see him because of strict visiting rules at Airedale while the virus continues to spread.

“At least he will be around English speakers and will be able to have his phone with him,” she said.