The family of a British grandmother who suffered a brain haemorrhage while on holiday in Spain had to shell out over £5,000 to fly her home when their insurers refused to pay up.

Patricia Reid, 61, slipped into a coma after falling ill during the final day of her visit to Benalmadena in the Costa del Sol with her cousin.

Her distraught family travelled from Cambuslang in Scotland to Malaga that day after receiving a call from doctors at the regional hospital saying she had a stroke.

When they arrived, she was lying critically ill in an intensive care and her family were unsure if she would survive.

She initially made a good recovery and became well enough to be flown back to the UK in an air ambulance.

But her son Alan was shocked to find out the medical bills would not be fully covered by her European insurance policy.

Instead, they were asked to sign a disclaimer, stating they would have to refund travel firm InsureandGo a mammoth £5,283 to fly her back to Britain.

The company insisted Mrs Reid had not disclosed pre-existing medical conditions asthma and cardiomyopathy, meaning she had not paid the right premium. As a result, the insurers said they would only pay for 70.9% of the costs.

But Alan, 32, told The Sun : “It’s sickening, absolutely sickening.

“It’s been the most horrible experience of my life – it’s like living in a nightmare.”

Alan went on: "They gave us an ultimatum – sign this disclaimer, or we can’t take the air ambulance to the next stage.

"Without that disclaimer signed, my mum wouldn’t be coming home.

"They’re holding a gun to your head, effectively, despite their earlier promises of, ‘Oh no, getting her home won’t be a problem’."

He said his mum had disclosed her problems when taking out previous policies with the same firm, accusing them of "moving the goalposts".

After initially getting better from her December 2 ordeal, Mrs Reid has now fallen into a life-threatening coma, the paper reported.

And the family have now launched a desperate bid to raise money towards their medical bills on a GoFundMe page .

By Saturday evening, they had managed to raise nearly £4,500 towards their target.

Alan wrote: We are completely disgusted with the way the insurance firm have handled the situation.

"This has been a life changing event for all of the family and in particular my mum and dad."

Mirror Online has contacted InsureandGo for a comment.

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