The family of a grandmother fighting for her life in a Spanish hospital are today appealing for help in raising £20,000 to bring her home after a dust cloud led to her collapse.
Anne Dawson, 61, of Elmwood Avenue, Preesall, fell ill earlier this month after suffering breathing difficulties in Lanzarote.
The former bakery worker, who suffers with asthma, fell ill in Playa de los Pocillos when the dust cloud, believed to have blown over from Africa, settled on the island, creating poor air quality.
Mrs Dawson was given oxygen and a nebuliser to improve her condition, but she fell ill on her way to the airport to return home.
The 61-year-old has been in intensive care in Arrecife since, with husband Norman, 67, and son Mark, 38, keeping a bedside vigil.
The family hope to bring her home by medical evacuation, but face a £20,000 bill.
Five days in she could not breathe. We wanted to fly her back to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment but she collapsed on her way and was taken to hospital in Lanzarote.Emma Norman
Now Mrs Dawson’s daughter and son are appealing to readers to help raise the huge cash sum.
Emma Norman, 41, from Hambleton, said: “Mum went on holiday with my dad, brother, his husband and their children about a month ago.
“Five days in she could not breathe. We wanted to fly her back to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment but she collapsed on her way and was taken to hospital in Lanzarote.
“One minute we are being told she may not survive and the next it’s positive.
“It is just the fact we are all in limbo. It will cost £20,000 to get her home.”
Emma said her mum began to feel unwell following a unusual spell of dry, hot weather. According to weather reports the airborne dust, also called a Saharan Air Layer, formed south east of Algeria, causing a large dust storm to travel across the country, heading west towards the Canary Islands and Lanzarote.
She added: “About five days in my brother said a dust cloud came over the island and the heat was so intense, mum could not breathe.
“They decided to fly her back home but she collapsed and they had to take her to Arrecife.
“She was improving. She had been on a ventilator. They took her off it 10 days ago and we all thought she was feeling ok but a week ago she had to be resuscitated.
“We were told one of her lungs had collapsed.
“She has tried to breathe again, but she is to have a tracheotomy - an incision in her windpipe to help her breathing - today. My dad is beside himself. The hospital only let them see her for a limited time too. It is just hell.”
The family hope any money raised will support Mr Dawson and the couple’s son Mark while they stay abroad. Close to £2,000 has been donated on-line through a Just Giving page in a few days.
But it is hoped £20,000 can be raised - ensuring Mrs Dawson’s return by medical evacuation on a private flight so she can be treated in the UK.
Mr Dawson-Shaw, 38, from Preesall, said his mum’s travel insurance does not cover the costs involved in returning to Britain, admitting a dream family holiday has turned into a nightmare.
He said: “We had four or five days of the holiday and she became unwell. The local people said the air quality was really bad.
“We went to a private clinic where she was given oxygen and a nebuliser to try and help her.
“But she collapsed and was taken into a local hospital. We were told a week ago she would die but she is still fighting. She is still trying to fight it.
“To date it has not been very successful but two days ago we had a glint of hope when she started breathing easier.
“We can only see her between 12pm to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm as she is in intensive care.
“It has just been horrendous. Myself and my partner adopted our three children and came here for a family holiday with my parents and now this has happened.”
If you can help and wish to donate, go to the family’s Just Giving page at https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/cara-parry-1