Marc and Amy Young came to Malta from Rishton, UK, on a holiday with their 10-month-old daughter Eliza Jane on Wednesday 24th May, and seven weeks later, contrary to their initial plans, they’re still here. Eliza felt unwell and had a high temperature a couple of days before flying, but when a visit to their GP the night before cleared the young girl for flying (with the belief that she might have a viral infection), the family stuck to their plan and embarked on the holiday.
On the day they arrived in Malta, Eliza was rushed to hospital with Streptococcus Pneumococcal Meningitis. The holiday quickly turned into a nightmare seven weeks of ventilators, seizures, septicaemia, transfusions, antibiotics, blood tests, five MRI scans, three CT scans and three operations. Eliza ended up spending her first birthday, 11th July, in hospital.
Now, Eliza is in a stable condition, but she’s been left partially blind, deaf in her left ear, and will also be left with significant brain damage when she grows up. “Our little EJY has gone from being the happiest and bubbliest little girl, to having been left with the devastating after-effects of meningitis,” said a family friend.
Eliza’s parents have had their insurance claim refused twice, on the account of there being “an underlying condition” prior to the holiday. And even though a diagnosis had never been made and they were even told they were safe to fly, Marc and Amy’s claims are currently all being turned down. Of course, the good piece of news here is that healthcare in Malta is free, but the added financial burden of going from a short holiday to having to pay for seven weeks’ worth of accommodation, car hire and food while not working has definitely taken a toll on the Young family. “We are also unsure as to the cost of flying Eliza back to the UK, as soon as she is safe to do so, and any aftercare, rehabilitation, or special equipment she may need once she’s home,” they explained.
Two close family friends, Gill and Garth Wyse, opened a Go Fund Me page for the Youngs over the weekend, with the target of £5,000. Less than 24 hours later, however, they managed to raise £9,910 between over 300 people, and their campaign is currently marked as ‘trending’ on Go Fund Me. “This time last night, our target seemed extremely ambitious,” Gill said. “But how wrong were we! We can’t thank you all enough for your kindness and generosity, your kind words and support have been absolutely remarkable.”
If you’d like to help the cause, the Go Fund Me page is still open for donations.