A DISTRAUGHT Glasgow family have told how they have been plunged into £30k of debt after receiving a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis while on holiday in Turkey.

David Walton, 67, took seriously ill on the last day of his trip to Antalya with wife Liz, 58, and had to be rushed by ambulance to a private hospital nearby.

Once there he had to undergo costly treatment to stabilise him – before the family were given the shock news that medics there believe he has colon cancer and should go home as a matter of urgency to begin treatment.

Despite his desperate plight, the family say Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board chiefs have told them they need more information before moving the granddad because of his ‘complex needs’.

The impasse has left David lying in limbo in London’s Hillingdon Hospital with only his wife Liz and sister Fran - who organised costly private flights to bring him back to the UK from Istanbul - for support.

Medics at Hillingdon have nursed the Garthamlock man to a point where they say he is currently stable enough to be transported to Glasgow – but the family claim they are still in the dark as to when he will be moved.

Glasgow Times: David and Liz on the flight to Turkey.David and Liz on the flight to Turkey. (Image: Supplied)

Liz exclusively told the Times they just want David back home.

She said: “All we want is for David to get back to Glasgow where he can get the care and attention he needs, surrounded by our friends and family.

“The last few weeks have been a nightmare. We went to Turkey on September 30 and the evening before we were due to return home David took unwell.

“He was subsequently admitted to a private hospital and was initially diagnosed with a gastric infection. This escalated to sepsis and kidney failure, which the doctors managed to get this under control, however they sent him for an MRI scan which has shown a mass in his colon and a suspected spread.

“To receive the news that doctors believe he has cancer while we were thousands of miles from home was devastating and the hospital said David should go home immediately for treatment.”

The family contacted their insurance firm for financial help but say the process to complete a claim is going to be lengthy, so decided to push forward with finding a way to get David back to Glasgow.

Glasgow Times: Fran, David and Liz.Fran, David and Liz. (Image: Supplied)

Liz explained: “The doctor gave him a fit to fly document and the hospital translator arranged flights back to the UK at a cost to us. The only method back was via Istanbul. David was on a stretcher and accompanied by a doctor, it was a horrendous trip, fraught with worry. We obviously wanted to come straight back to Scotland but the only flight available to the UK was to Heathrow, so we took it.

“We have run up about £30,000 of bills and are using credit cards and savings to try and stay afloat. It feels like there is nobody there for us. We’ve started claiming via our holiday insurance, but that is far from straightforward and we just couldn’t wait for all of that to be completed – David had to get home and every day in Turkey the costs were just spiralling.

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“Once we got back to London, we arranged for a private ambulance to take David to the nearest local hospital, which was Hillingdon, where he has received the best care – but we need to get him home as we want a second opinion. He needs to be seen urgently by doctors in Glasgow to let us know exactly what can be done for him moving forward.”

Glasgow Times: David also suffers from spina bifida.David also suffers from spina bifida. (Image: Supplied)

Liz, a support worker, explained how David also suffers with spina bifida and relies on a wheelchair to get around.

Prior to going abroad, he was admitted to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow in September suffering with bile, vomit and loose stools and was allowed out after IV treatment. There was no mention of cancer on his discharge letter, or any tests being carried out to explore the possibility of its presence.

Liz added: “I feel that David’s cancer should have been discovered long before now, but we can’t even begin to think about that at the minute, we need to deal with this diagnosis first before we start looking at anything else.

Glasgow Times: David with his grandsonDavid with his grandson (Image: Supplied)

“David worked all his life for the Inland Revenue until he retired a few years ago. He put plenty into the system and when he needs it most, it is totally failing him.

“We have been told that the repatriation to Glasgow is difficult as he has complex needs, and that the health board doesn’t currently have capacity. That is just unacceptable. All we want is David to be brought somewhere that he can have family and friends around him – we all need that network as right now he is currently feeling incredibly isolated while I’m in London with his sister Fran, living out of a hotel room just trying to do our best for him.”

Glasgow Times: The couple on their wedding day.The couple on their wedding day. (Image: Supplied)

A spokesperson for Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board said they continue to work to try and find the best solution for the David and his family.

They said: “We accept that the current situation will be distressing for this patient and their family and while for reasons of patient confidentiality we cannot comment on the detail of individual cases, our team remain very willing to speak with the patient and their family to provide support and discuss ongoing treatment and care. 

“When someone is being treated by another healthcare provider, and transfer to NHSGGC is requested, the best interest of the patient will always be the top priority.

“This means that accurate clinical information must be exchanged between healthcare providers, to allow an appropriate care plan to be put in place before any such patient transfer can be made, so that we can ensure the correct type and level of care can be maintained.”