Terminally ill Joondalup father stranded in Bali after bucket-list family holiday

Duncan Turner with his wife Michelle Edgar and their daughter Amelie.
Duncan Turner with his wife Michelle Edgar and their daughter Amelie.

TERMINALLY ill father Duncan Turner’s bucket-list family holiday turned into a nightmare when he was rushed to a Bali hospital where he’s now stranded with mounting medical bills.

For what they expected to be their last family holiday, the Joondalup resident and his wife Michelle Edgar took their five-year-old daughter to Singapore to fulfil her dream of swimming with dolphins.

With just months to live, Mr Turner helped make his daughter’s dream come true before badly injuring his knee while in transit to Perth via Bali, where he was taken to hospital for life-saving blood transfusions.

Duncan Turner in a Bali hospital with his daughter Amelie by his side.

The family-of-three is now waiting for Mr Turner to get clearance to fly home but are facing thousands of dollars in unexpected medical bills following the accident.

In an effort to financially help the family, close friends Lynette Hillier and Carmen Braidwood set up a GoFundMe page to rally support and lessen the burden.

Ms Hillier said the husband and wife had faced their fair share of challenges, from their struggle with IVF to conceive Amelie, to her premature birth at 27 weeks.

“Now they face another challenge – Duncan’s declining health and the devastating fact that he will not be around to see his beautiful daughter grow up,” she said.

Michelle Edgar with daughter Amelie swimming with dolphins.

“Following a horrific fall down a flight of stairs in July 2017, Duncan suffered an undiagnosed blood clot on his brain which led to multiple strokes and seizures, leaving him completely paralysed and unable to talk.”

Mr Turner spent months re-learning to walk and talk but the strokes and seizures caused permanent damage, and the 46-year-old has been given just months to live.

To ensure Amelie made lasting memories with her father, Ms Edgar made it her mission to have one last family holiday together and make her water baby’s dream come true of swimming with her favourite animal.

Although Amelie is five years old, she is the size of a two-year-old, and didn’t fit the height requirement for children to swim with dolphins in Australia so the family had to travel overseas.

With Mr Turner’s declining health, he did not fit travel insurance requirements, and so, Ms Hillier said the trip was a gamble, but one that the family were willing to take to make life-long memories together.

“There is some silver lining in that at least Michelle and Amelie are covered by the credit card’s travel insurance to stay on and wait for Duncan,” she said.

“But as you can imagine, with the worry of these mounting hospital bills and Duncan’s touchy health situation, the whole thing is far from the perfect end to the perfect family holiday that Michelle and Duncan had been hoping to provide for Amelie.”

More than 320 people have rallied together and within two days have raised more than $22,000 for the family via the GoFundMe page.