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Brit tourists with premature baby crowdfund living costs
By thinkSPAIN Team Mon, Aug 12, 2019
A YOUNG British couple has launched a crowdfunding appeal to help them stay in Spain until their prematurely-born baby is able to fly home.
Shannon Holbrook, 25, from Birmingham was on holiday with her partner Matthew Beach, 27, in the Alicante area when she suddenly went into labour at six-and-a-half months.
Scarlett Rose weighed just 900 grams (2lb 5oz) when she was born at the hospital in San Juan, just to the north of Alicante city, where she remains in neo-natal intensive care.
The couple had apparently 'joked' about what would happen if Scarlett Rose was born during their holiday, but they did not expect it to actually happen.
And medics say the baby cannot travel by air until what would have been at least 35 weeks, or eight months, into the pregnancy.
This means October at the earliest, but possibly longer if she is not found to be in sufficient health.
Scarlett Rose reportedly 'got worse' earlier in the week and had to be intubated, but has since rallied again and has started to put on weight.
Although Shannon and Matthew say they 'have somewhere to stay' - the nature of which is not clarified but which may be a holiday home owned by a friend or family member - this is located 'over an hour away' from the hospital.
The exact site of their possible accommodation has not been confirmed, but an hour to the south, the Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa area is very popular with British expats and tourists, the latter of whom tend to rent villas or apartments rather than stay in hotels.
This would mean they cannot make daily visits to San Juan, so Shannon's sister, Sherri-Leigh, has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise 'at least £1,000' (around €1,090) to cover accommodation and living costs.
But it is likely they would need a great deal more than this to last them another two or three months, especially if they are forced to stay in hotels.
Fortunately, their health insurance policy covered all the medical costs not included within the scope of the emergency EHIC European health card, but they had not extended the cover to provide for accommodation required due to health issues that prevented them from returning home.
Matthew said: "It's hard enough having a premature baby, let alone having one in a country where you cannot speak the language."
Sherri-Leigh has started the collection on the popular crowdfunding site, Go Fund Me.
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