British grandfather ‘held hostage’ by Turkish hospital over £41,000 bill

2024-06-18 HaiPress

Mr Stocker's family claim they have now been told by medics that they must pay half of the bill by today

A British grandfather has been ‘held hostage’ by Turkish medical staff over an unpaid bill of £41,000 after being hospitalised with food poisoning,his family claimed.

Malcolm Stocker,a 68-year-old retired pub landlord,has been in intensive care in a hospital in Icmeler for almost a month after being diagnosed with pneumonia while on holiday with his girlfriend.

His family say he had several pre-existing conditions and was refused medical insurance before the two-week trip,but decided to go anyway.

They claim they have now been told by medics at the Ahu Hospital in Marmaris that they must pay half of the £41,000 bill owed before he can be discharged.

“It is just heartbreaking to see my dad lying in hospital and so helpless,” Mr Stocker’s 33-year-old daughter Emma-Jane told MailOnline.

‘Induced coma’

“He doesn’t really know where he is and thinks he is on a cruise ship. He has been out of the induced coma for a while but is just so heavily sedated.

“We just want to get him home,but until we pay the hospital they are refusing to hand back his passport and are demanding we pay £20,000,” she claimed.

Mr Stocker was initially admitted to the hospital after he developed an upset stomach,and his sodium and potassium levels were found to be dangerously low.

The family has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the hospital bill

The hospital then discovered he had pneumonia and he was placed in a coma. He has remained heavily sedated since being brought out of the coma two weeks ago,his family say.

Ms Stocker added: “We do not have the sort of money that the hospital are asking for. They have my father’s passport and will not release it to the family.

“We feel he is being held hostage and will not be allowed to leave until the bill has been paid.”

The family has now set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the hospital bill,raising more than £5,300 so far.

‘Money we do not have’ 

In an update on the fundraiser on June 15,Ms Stocker wrote: “This morning my brother was pulled into a meeting with the hospital. The hospital are demanding a payment of £20,000 by Monday. Money we do not have.

“They will not tell us what will happen if we cannot make this payment. We have reached out to the embassy once again but they have been no help thus far.

“This situation is worsening,with dad still laid up too unwell to leave let alone travel. The hospital will not allow him to leave without payment. We do not know where to turn.”

The Telegraph has contacted the Ahu Hospital and the British embassy in Turkey for comment.

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