Blackpool family call on Foreign Office to help Charles

Charles McLaughlin
Charles McLaughlin

The family of a Blackpool man critically ill in Cambodia have called for the Foreign Office to provide more support after being denied an emergency loan three times.

Charles McLaughlin (inset) has been on life support after suffering a stroke more than two weeks ago and his family are desperate to bring him back to the Fylde coast.

His mum, Esther from Thornton, is keeping vigil at her 38-year-old son’s bedside after flying out when she heard what had happened.

Esther and Charles’ sisters Lyndsay Shaw, 44, who also lives near her mum and Jennifer McLaughlin, 41, from Essex, launched a fundraising campaign to bring him home.

So far they have raised more than £40,000 of their £105,000 goal.

Jennifer has been providing updates about her brother’s condition via the fundraising site.

She said the Government needs to be doing more to help them and Charles.

She said: “Mum has applied to remortgage her house, this process doesn't happen overnight.

“The government are aware of this.

“Lyndsay and I have taken out loans to cover the current daily medical bills of hundreds of US dollars to keep him in the best option we have and can afford right now.

“We have been denied an emergency loan three times now.

“Why won’t the government help a tax paying British family, affected by an overseas crisis, who have well and truly exhausted all their options right now?”

A spokesman from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "“Our thoughts are with Charlie’s family at this extremely difficult time.

"While our staff continue to do all they can to support them, the FCO is not funded to provide financial assistance to British people overseas.

"In exceptional circumstances, we can provide a small emergency loan to help someone return to the UK.

"These loans are for a one-way economy air fare and cannot be used to cover the costs of medical repatriation, or to pay medical bills.

"Medical emergencies in another country can be very expensive and it is important to take out comprehensive travel insurance before travelling abroad.”