Perth grandfather stranded in a Canadian hospital

Phil Nelson is stranded in a Canadian hospital after suffering a severe brain injury.
Phil Nelson is stranded in a Canadian hospital after suffering a severe brain injury.

A MULLALOO grandfather has been stranded in a Canadian hospital following a travel insurance mix-up.

Phil and Morag Nelson had to rush to Canada in July after their son Karl was in a horrific car accident that put him on life-support.

Before they left, they organised travel insurance but mistakenly took out the wrong ‘multi trip’ plan.

Then on October 11, Mr Nelson, a retired teacher, fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a severe brain injury.

He now cannot speak except to say “yes” or “no”.

“He was stabilised in a local hospital and then airlifted to Calgary, where he was in intensive care for 10 days and is now on the trauma ward,” friend Helen Bolton said.

Ms Bolton said the insurance company was informed of the accident immediately but it was not until Mrs Nelson contacted them to arrange a medical evacuation back to Australia that they were told the ‘multi trip’ insurance plan would not cover it because they had not returned to Australia within 30 days.

Phil Nelson is stranded in a Canadian hospital after suffering a severe brain injury.

“Phil’s daily costs in hospital are in the vicinity of $25,000 and now, after almost two weeks, the insurers are saying they will not cover these or flights to get him home,” she said.

It is estimated this hospital bill could be $300,000 with a medical flight costing another $130,000.

Ms Bolton has since started a GoFundMe page to help get Mr Nelson back to Perth to continue treatment.

In four days, it has raised about $80,000 from nearly 700 donors.

Mrs Nelson said the family had been “overwhelmed with the kindness shown”.

“Phil is in there somewhere, he just can’t tell us yet,” she said of the man she has known for 48 years.

Thankfully, Karl has recovered from his accident.

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