Couple with premature baby born on honeymoon say insurers won’t pay to bring him home

A newly-wed couple whose baby was born prematurely on their honeymoon in Turkey claimed insurers wouldn’t cover the costs to bring him home – as the baby was two days too early for their policy.

Louise and Stephen Crawshaw-Bowen’s son Wolfe was born on July 25, seven-and-a-half weeks premature and is now in intensive care in Antalya.

The couple face staggering hospital bills to care for their son, who currently needs help to breath and has an infection on his lungs.

They thought they had a holiday insurance policy that would cover them, but the insurance company told Louise there was clause in the small print that said they would only cover insurance if a baby was born eight weeks premature. If Wolfe had been born two days earlier, they would have been covered.

Louise, 37, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, said: “It’s just so unfair that I sorted out insurance to cover all of this and we’re in this situation.

“We’re honestly out of options, and I’m not one to ask for help but we are desperate.

“I’ve seen my five day old baby for two minutes – it’s heartbreaking and we need to get him home.”

Louise had a “fit to fly” medical note before the family left the UK for their honeymoon earlier in July.

But that took an unexpected turn when Louise was rushed hospital on Monday 25 in Antalya, suffering from intense bleeding and pain as she went into labour. Wolfe was then born via emergency caesarian section.

The couple said there was a “language barrier” between them and the staff at the hospital, when Stephen, 27, originally from Halifax in West Yorkshire, was asked to sign an €800 (£670) bill for treatment.

But that initial bill was one of several the couple would get – including another for €4,500 just to allow Louise to leave hospital, which she described as “a prison”, and ongoing costs for Wolfe’s care.

Louise said: “Just two days ago we went to see how much Wolfe’s bill was – and it was €5,250.”

Doctors in Turkey said Wolfe could require at least another three week’s hospital care, and then might not be strong enough to immediately fly after that.

The newlyweds said they might have to sell their house due to their predicament.

Louise was given a spinal block for the operation which she said is now giving her continuous headaches.

After being told book accommodation and keep the invoices the insurance company told them on Wednesday they were not willing to pay.

They said it was because Louise gave birth seven weeks and five days before her due date but if she was eight weeks or above they would have paid up.

Stephen “The insurance company are not paying out because of two days.

“It took them from Monday to Wednesday to make this decision, and it feels like from Monday to Wednesday – it feels to us – like they were trying to find a loophole to not pay the money.”

The mother-of-five added: “Before they made this decision, they were ringing us saying keep the receipts for bills, pay for an extra week at your accommodation, and we will reimburse it all back.

“Then on Wednesday they give us this news – it makes no sense at all, premature births are up until 37 weeks.”

Stephen and Louise have already paid €5,000 (£4,188) for Louise’s hospital discharge – which they had to burrow from family – a further €5,250 (£4,397) for the medical bill for two days for his son and several thousand euros for accommodation.

The newlyweds expressed feelings of “anger” and “disappointment” and added they felt “let down” by the company.

Louise said her three eldest children, 14-year-old Ty, 11-year-old Daisi and five-year-old Teddy, went back to the UK with her friend on Wednesday (July 27).

But the couple are staying in their accommodation, at Grand park lara in Antalya, with their 11-month-old Ronnie until they can get him home.

The desperate pair are looking at contacting air ambulances to get Wolfe back to the UK, but say initial figures are looking at over £40,000.

A GoFundMe page, set up by family in the UK to help with their costs, has already raised more than £5,000.

Insurers have been approached for comment.