British student Sam Corria got more than he bargained for while travelling around Australia, when the vehicle he was in left the road and rolled over 4 times. Left unconscious from the accident which could have ended so horribly Sam was lucky enough to survive – albeit with some terrible injuries. The horrific accident has left the 18 year old with significant brain injuries and – thanks to a travel insurance blunder – difficulties returning to the UK.
After being dragged from the up-turned vehicle by a travel-buddy, Sam was rushed to hospital where the full extent of his injuries were discovered. The trauma had led to bleeding into the skull, causing dangerous pressure and potential brain injuries.
In order to relieve the pressure building up in Sam’s skull, surgeons in Melbourne were forced to remove a chunk of his skull and then place the hapless traveller into a chemical-induced coma. In this way the worst of the pressure could pass without too much discomfort – or permanent damage being done – to the long-suffering student. In addition the coma reduced the chances of Sam accidentally touching his skull-less head, which was covered up after the operation with a huge plaster reading “no skull” as a reminder to medical staff.
Whilst Sam has pulled through the worst part of his ordeal, his problems are far from over. For one, he is still experiencing an assortment of unpleasant medical conditions on account of the accident. According to his family, Sam has been suffering from epilepsy as a result of the injury.
The damage done to his brain has also made it difficult for him to control his muscles. He is alleged to be unable to walk, and to have minimal control over the movement of his arms. It will likely be months – rather than weeks – before Sam is back on his feet and ready to begin his studies once again.
In a final unpleasant twist in the tail, Sam’s travel insurance ran out just three weeks before the accident. This has meant that as well as dealing with the medical repercussions of his accident, there are also growing financial problems.
As any traveller who has received care overseas will attest, medical care is far from cheap; especially in extreme cases like this where surgery and long-term hospitalization have been required. In light of the funds now owed, Sam’s family have set up a donation page which can be found at http://www.gofundme.com/rrx8rn4c.
Here at Expatriate Healthcare we’d like to wish Sam a speedy and full recovery.
We’d also like to remind other readers of the importance of investing in appropriate health insurance when travelling abroad, in order to help cover the costs of any medical care necessary.