01482 778 463

We're here to help 01482 778 463

CLAIM ONLINE
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Case Stories | Grandmother sues Virgin over holiday nightmare

Grandmother sues Virgin over holiday nightmare

Crete


A grandmother, whose dream holiday turned into a living nightmare when she was given just 48 hours to live unless she had a major operation, is suing insurance giant Virgin for medical costs incurred.

Penelope Southern, 57, from Medstead, Hampshire, was on holiday with her family in Crete when a  gastro-intestinal virus led to her bowel being strangulated. She was rushed to a local hospital where medics told her that she could die unless she underwent surgery within 48 hours.

But just hours before the operation, her insurers Virgin pulled the plug on funding the surgery – leaving her distraught family to find cash to pay for the £20,000 operation.

Virgin claims its refusal to pay for the surgery is due to Mrs Southern’s previous medical history. In September 2009 she had suffered ovarian cancer.

Now, Mrs Southern – who underwent months of medical care having returned from her holiday – has instructed Neil Hudgell Solicitors to pursue a claim for breach of contract against Virgin to recoup the £20,000 cost of the emergency medical treatment.

Her nightmare began when she flew out to Crete in April last year with her ex-husband Christopher, 59; her daughter Kerry, 32; Kerry’s partner Bill, 38; and Kerry’s children Callum, one and Paige, seven months.

Within days, Christopher suffered from vomiting and Kerry, Callum and Paige picked up the bug as well.

Penelope thought she’d escaped the illness, but one week into their luxury holiday she was rushed into hospital in immense pain. She was diagnosed with a strangulated bowel and told that unless she had an operation within 48 hours she may well die.

She explains: “The medics were very good and realised straightaway how seriously ill I was. They told me I desperately needed an operation, but as I was preparing to go into the operating theatre, a hospital administrator came in and told me that the insurance company wouldn’t pay for the surgery and so my operation would have to be cancelled.

“We’d already been told that the operation needed to be done within 48 hours and so my family was devastated when it was cancelled. I was drifting in and out of consciousness due to the immense pain I was in and Kerry was crying.”

Desperate for any help she could get, Kerry eventually issued an urgent plea to her friends on the social networking site Facebook. A family friend came to the rescue and offered them the money as a loan to allow the operation to go ahead.

Penelope, whose poor health means she is now unable to work, continues: “Whilst the medics did all they could, the insurers Virgin offered us no support at all. They effectively abandoned me.

“When Virgin refused to pay for my operation, the company said that my condition was due to the fact I’d suffered cancer in the past. However, I’ve got medical notes which confirm there was no link whatsoever with my previous medical history.”

She concludes: “The past few months have been a living hell. Now that I’ve instructed Neil Hudgell Solicitors to manage my case, I hope matters will be resolved quickly and I can get on with my life.”

Andrew Petherbridge, of  Neil Hudgell Solicitors, who is handling Penny’s case, comments: “This was an extremely traumatic experience for Mrs Southern. We hope to be able to quickly reach a settlement to secure compensation for her to repay the loan.”

Virgin declined to comment.

The Author

author image

Andrew Petherbridge

Team Supervisor and Civil Liberties Specialist, Hull

ap@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request a callback from a solicitor

 I am an existing client.









What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Extremely professional and efficient

"Extremely professional and efficient. Every effort was made to guide us through the process and… "

SMK

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Good result although process was a …

"Good result although process was a little long winded considering the other party was totally… "

Mrs Elizabeth Ryan

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Ihad the need to use a solicitor i had …

"Ihad the need to use a solicitor i had never heard of HUDGELL SOLICITORS at… "

Tina Dridge

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

I am satisfied,profesional service ,I …

"I am satisfied,profesional service ,I recommend to everyone."

Miss Stanislawa Szczubelek

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good polite and fast service

"Very good polite and fast service"

Lesley Hubbard

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hudgell's did a good job

"Nasreen did a good job and Hudgell's were great throughout"

AJV2017

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and done everything they …

"Very helpful and done everything they can to help me win my claim"

Mr Jack Benjamin Chapman

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent! Number 1 law firm 👍🏻👍🏻

"Excellent and honest from start to finish. Always returned my call and put me first.… "

Mr Gav Walker

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great help with an extra bit of nagging …

"Great help with an extra bit of nagging from myself! They got the best for… "

Miss Chloe Knapton

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Hiya you work real good for me I'm …

"Hiya you work real good for me I'm happy for you do for me and… "

Ms Anne Ollier

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. I have been kept informed every step of the way. When I have… "

maggie ackroyd

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service, the Solicitor kept me informed on all progress with regular phone calls and… "

Miss Rebecca Shaw

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Would 100% recommend and use again

"Whilst having to deal with a difficult company who was denying I ever worked for… "

Danny Morfitt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic service from beginning to …

"Fantastic service from beginning to end. Cant really say much more than that."

Craig

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

My case

"I have always found your service very good,always up to date with what was going… "

Miss Julie johnson

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great service

"Great service, friendly and hard working staff"

Mr Mohamed Jaouadi

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent customer care

"Once my claim was accepted I was kept informed throughout the negotiating process very professional… "

Mr Terence John Casey

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent Company

"Fast, friendly and honest service. Could not be happier with how my claim was handled… "

Miss Stacie King

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very prompt along every step of the way

"Very prompt along every step of the way"

Miss Rachel Victoria Joseph

Rated 9.2 out of 10 based on 299 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

© 2017 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90