Pregnant British woman stuck in Rhodes hospital and 'fearing for baby'

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A pregnant British woman is stuck in a hospital in Rhodes and says she is fearing for the safety of her unborn baby. Thurza Blagg, from Nottingham, was rushed to hospital when she began bleeding whilst on holiday on the Greek island.

The 32-year-old, who is 28 weeks pregnant, is desperate to return home where she feels she can give birth safely. However, Ms Blagg says her insurance company AXA missed a chance to repatriate her, resulting instead in an urgent transfer to Alexandra hospital in Athens.

She said due to the language barrier and receiving little support, she does not understand what is happening with her baby. "I don't feel very safe, I don't feel like I've got a clear birth plan," she said.

The UK government said it was supporting Ms Blagg and is in contact with local authorities. AXA has stated it was crucial to ensure any decision made was the right one and, after carefully reviewing her case, it is providing her with the medical assistance she needs.

On May 6, Ms Blagg went to Rhodes with her mum Kim, who was celebrating her 60th birthday.

Ms Blagg said it was an attempt to "get away from it all" after her partner - and dad to her unborn baby - Paul Ahad took his own life in January. "This baby that I'm carrying now is really important because it's the only piece of my partner I've got left," she said. 

She received a fit-to-fly letter ahead of her trip, but on May 12, just two days before she was due to return, she began bleeding. After being rushed to Rhodes General Hospital, Ms Blagg was told her waters had broke. She was given medication to delay the birth and contacted AXA so she could arrange a flight home.

Due to it being the weekend the insurance company were unable to acquire the necessary information from her GP. Instead, in a letter seen by Nottinghamshire Live, it said Ms Blagg could sign a medical disclaimer saying she would be liable for payment if she did not "fall within the terms of your policy".

However, after sending the signed documentation, Ms Blagg said AXA failed to organise her flight before the decision was made to move her to Athens. "I should've been sent home but they basically ignored that," she said.

"They left me in a hospital for 12 hours without neonatal facilities. Time was running out and a decision had to be made.

"There was an opportunity for me to return home to receive the appropriate care. I did everything they asked, it isn't about money, I want my baby to be alive, healthy and safe. I'm scared and I want to go home and understand what's happening to my baby.

"It's not like the UK here, it's hard to understand what my condition is. There is a massive language barrier, when they're saying medical terms and I'm carrying my first full term pregnancy, it's hard to understand what's going on.

"I don't feel very safe, I don't feel like I've got a clear birth plan. They're changing my sheets today for the first time, I haven't been offered any food or water, my mum has to buy it all."

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She added that she was assessed in plain view of other patients and their visitors. "People's boyfriends could be there and staff will rip off my pants to have a look at me, there's no curtain or privacy. I feel highly vulnerable."

Ms Blagg is still in contact with AXA and the British Embassy, who she hopes will help her return to the UK. "It's mine and Paul's baby, it's all I've got left of Paul," she said. "I feel pressurised and I don't feel safe."

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Her mum, Kim, who has remained by her side throughout, said: "It's been disgusting, shocking and frightening. It's been an awful ordeal and because of there being limited visiting hours I've had to fight to stay in the room with her. We've had no support whatsoever, the insurance company has been terrible."

A spokesperson for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: “We are supporting a British woman hospitalised in Greece and are in contact with the local authorities.”

An AXA Partners spokesperson said:“We are very sorry to hear about Ms Blagg’s circumstances and we sympathise with her situation. Due to the complex nature of her condition, we have a duty of care to ensure any decision we take is in her best interest. 

"Therefore, it was essential for our medical team to obtain and review Ms Blagg’s full medical history in order to determine the appropriate next steps to ensure she receives the right level of care. Following a review of this information, we will provide her with the medical assistance she requires.”

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