The devastated family of a Scots woman who tragically died while on holiday in Spain are desperate to bring her home.
Caroline Gardiner was supposed to be enjoying some time in the sun with friends Lainey and Kerry but suddenly took ill when she came off her flight in Fuerteventura on Saturday January 15.
The 41-year-old, from Kilbirnie, was given two nebulisers in a local hospital to help her breathe and put on a drip before she was discharged later that night.
But just two days later during a sand storm on the island she suddenly struggled to breathe and was having bad chest pain.
Caroline was rushed back to hospital and worked on by doctors but sadly couldn’t be saved and was pronounced dead on Monday January 17 – just three days into the week long trip.
Niece Adelle Collins, 35, told the Record: “On the Monday they were out and about when my auntie pretty much collapsed with breathing difficulties and pain in her chest.
“The ambulance took her straight back to the local hospital and they worked on her but she was pronounced dead on Monday night.
“It took a while to get her cause of death back but it was a cardiac arrest caused by a severe asthmatic episode due to sand storms in the area.
“One of the doctors who actually worked on my aunt had managed to get in touch with my gran and phoned her on the Monday night.
“Her friends weren’t aware Caroline had passed as they weren’t allowed to go with her due to Covid.”
A fundraiser has been launched by Adelle to help pay for Caroline’s funeral and aid the cost of bringing her home as the insurance company at first refused to pay.
Although Rangers fan Caroline had asthma, the health condition was completely under control and she rarely had to use her inhalers.
Because there had been no previous issues the condition wasn’t put on her insurance form, causing difficulties with the insurance company.
Adelle aded: “At first the insurance company wouldn’t pay out but after I called them again on Saturday they have said they will cover the majority of the repatriation.
“This still leaves the family to pay some and cover the cost of the funeral.
“It is almost like she is still on holiday. Until we actually have her here it will be difficult to process.
“It was just such a shock. Her asthma was completely under control. She rarely used her inhaler.
“What are the chances of there being a bad sand storm on the days she was there?”
Caroline leaves behind four devastated children – Connor, 23, Lauren, 20, Stacey, 18, and Charles, 16 – as well as granddaughter Nova, who she “lived for”, and another grandchild on the way.
The heartbroken family described Caroline, who was living in Paisley, as a pet lover who would do anything for anyone.
After the struggle with the insurance company and Caroline’s sudden death, the family have also urged people to make sure asthma is listed as a health condition on insurance forms, even if it is under control.
“I’ve spoke to a few people who suffer from asthma and they have said when they go away they don’t put it down,” Adelle said.
“Even if this just raises awareness of putting asthma down then we could save another person going through what we have.”
The family are currently waiting on final costs for Caroline’s repatriation and hope to have her back home soon.
Donations to the fundraising page can be made by clicking here.
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