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Woman left with £99,000 hospital bill after travelling without travel insurance

Shiala Mahmood

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman left with £99,000 hospital bill after travelling without travel insurance

Featured Image Credit: Instagram: polycentricc/GoFundMe

A woman has been left with a staggering £99k hospital bill after she failed to take out travel insurance while travelling from New Zealand to North America for a family wedding.

Amanda Sesio, 23, suddenly fell ill during her flight with a mystery illness that left her unable to stand.

She was rushed to the hospital emergency room for urgent treatment where she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Speaking to NZ Herald, she said: "As soon as we got to hospital, it was pretty much all go, go, go. When you have all the doctors and nurses running around, then you think: 'Oh, it is bad'."

Sesio was later diagnosed with hypoxemic respiratory failure and was also told she had blood infections and fluid in her lungs.

Amanda Sesio was left with a £99k hospital bill after failing to take out travel insurance. Credit: GoFundMe
Amanda Sesio was left with a £99k hospital bill after failing to take out travel insurance. Credit: GoFundMe

Sesio does not remember anything after arriving at the emergency department, as she was put to sleep for several days in the intensive care unit.

She said: "When I woke up, I still had tubes on me and was so [dazed] from so much medication.

"They showed me x-rays of my lungs. Normal lungs should show them to be clear. But it was just filled with white - just how much gunk there was inside.

"Mum [back in New Zealand] was getting called at 3am or 4am by doctors saying: 'We're going to do this and that'. Had I left it any longer, we could've been in a different situation."

Sesio was kept in hospital for several weeks before being discharged and made her journey back home to New Zealand, a month after her arrival in Los Angeles.

The hospital treatment left her with an eye-watering £99k bill, a cost she could have avoided if she had taken out travel insurance.

Credit: Instagram
Credit: Instagram

Speaking about the hefty bill, she said: "It's one of those things - I wasn't thinking.

"Perhaps had I had the time [to prepare for the trip], maybe the circumstances would've been different and I could've got insurance.

"It was a stupid mistake. But I know better and will do better."

A GoFundMe page was set up by Sesio's brother Shane to help cover the cost of the medical bill.

He wrote: "My family and I decided to start this GoFundMe page to assist us in paying the large medical bill Amanda is now faced with paying, which is $150k USD.

"Any donation, no matter the size, would greatly help us in covering Amanda's medical costs and we would be forever grateful for any support we receive."

Amanda has a healthy lifestyle which she believes played an advantage in helping her recovery. Credit: Instagram
Amanda has a healthy lifestyle which she believes played an advantage in helping her recovery. Credit: Instagram

Doctors believe that Sesio caught the illness while travelling, possibly on the plane.

Sesio keeps a healthy and active lifestyle with a love for CrossFit training. She also does not smoke or drink and eats healthily.

She has credited her lifestyle as being the biggest advantages to helping in her recovery. She also thanked the medical team at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, describing the doctors and nurses as her 'angels'.

Sesio also thanked everyone who donated to her GoFundMe page, saying: "I just want to say the biggest thank you to everyone who has helped. It takes a lot of kindness to give unconditionally - especially to a stranger."

Topics: Travel, Health

Shiala Mahmood
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