24 Oct 2019

NZ holiday turns to agony for Fiji family

10:21 am on 24 October 2019

A Fiji man has racked up about $US20,000 in medical fees after suffering a severe stroke while visiting relatives in New Zealand.

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Photo: 123rf

Sultan Mohammed, who does not have travel insurance, is being treated at a hospital in Greymouth.

His son, Mohammed Shafil, said the family was trying to raise money to send him back to Fiji.

"We are running out of funds. It's a shock. I can't sleep. I can't eat. Me and my mother have to stay in the hospital.

"We are really depressed, we are really stressed. Even my mum is really sick as well. But, we are doing our best to fundraise for my dad to get him some treatment."

His father would need to travel to Fiji on a specialised medical flight, which would cost about $US13,000.

Mr Shafil's parents, who live in Lautoka, arrived in New Zealand on 3 October, three days before his 66-year-old father suffered the stroke.

His parents did not take out any insurance before they left Fiji, he said.

In a statement, Grey Base Hospital said in his current condition, Mr Mohammed was too unstable to be transferred by regular public air transport.

"The only way for him to be safely transported back to Fiji is with a medical escort and a large amount of medical equipment which will be of a huge expense," the hospital said.

The family has started GoFundMe and Givealittle pages to raise money.