Birmingham family’s ’nightmare’ over 200k medical bill

Maxine Howell Image copyright Family handout Image caption The family of Maxine Howell said they are living in a 'nightmare'

The family of a seriously ill woman in Mexico have said they are living a "nightmare" as her £200,000 medical bills are not covered by insurance.

Maxine Howell, from West Bromwich, celebrated her 50th birthday in Cancun but days later she was struck down by pneumonia and bronchiolitis.

Her family said Axa would only pay 10% towards costs after she failed to disclose the prescription of an inhaler despite never using it.

Axa said it was looking into the case.

Mother-of-three Ms Howell has been in an induced coma for a fortnight at CostaMed hospital, in Playa del Carmen, Cancun.

Her family said they were "devastated" to be informed Axa was only covering 10.25% of medical costs.

They also said Axa recommended the hospital as the one they use.

A crowdfunding page, set up by the family, has so far raised more than £6,000 from 300 donors.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Maxine Howell was on a birthday trip to Cancun when she fell ill

Daughter Aneke Pye, 32, said the mystery inhaler was the reason given by Axa for dismissing the full claim.

She told the BBC: "It's one big nightmare. It seems like whichever way we turn we hit a brick wall.

"She was prescribed an inhaler in 2015 - but has never used it. We have no idea why she had it in the first place."

Ms Pye said they cannot access their mother's medical files as they do not have her consent.

She received life-saving medical attention to "drain fluid from her lungs and was placed into a medically-induced coma to aid her recovery" on 29 January.

An Axa spokeswoman said: "We are aware of Maxine Howell's situation and are looking into her case."

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