Surprise birth brings hefty bill

  • ASEAN+
  • Friday, 15 Mar 2019

Calling for help: Wilkinson and Walsh-Kavanagh were on their way home to the UK to surprise their parents with the news of Wilkinson’s pregnancy when she was rushed to the hospital in Singapore. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network

SINGAPORE: A British couple are looking to raise more than £140,000 (RM753,626) to take their baby, who was born prematurely in Singapore, home to Britain.

Chloe Wilkinson and her partner, Patraic Walsh-Kavanagh, were in Singapore for a two-day layover on their way home from Australia when she went into labour on Feb 19, the BBC reported.

The 30-year-old was 24 weeks pregnant when she was rushed to the hospital.

Their baby Lorcan was born on Feb 26, weighing just 0.86kg.

According to the BBC, the couple have been told that they have to stay in Singapore for another three months before the child, who is in intensive care, is well enough to travel.

The British broadcaster said that the couple were handed a £140,000 medical bill, which is not covered by the travel insurance they took out before setting off on their trip to Asia in December 2017.

The Singapore General Hospital, where their baby has been warded, confirmed the sum reported, but added that this is the estimated bill size and is subject to changes.

Babies born prematurely are typically warded in the intensive care unit, before being transferred to a high dependency ward and then finally to the ordinary ward, The Straits Times understands.

The couple told British media that their travel insurance does not cover pregnancy.

As a result, they are trying to raise money through a GoFundMe campaign, with a target of £142,000 (RM764,392).

As of Wednesday, they have raised more than £50,000 (RM269,152).

The couple worked in Victoria, Australia, after travelling around Asia, BBC reported.

They were on their way home to the UK to surprise their parents with the news of Wilkinson’s pregnancy when she was rushed to the hospital in Singapore.

She had been experiencing bleeding and cramps, British newspaper The Mirror reported.

Walsh-Kavanagh, 27, told the BBC that Wilkinson was found to have an infection after undergoing numerous tests in the hospital.

She was given antibiotics and medication to reduce contractions and prolong labour, to give their baby the best chance of survival, he said.

Wilkinson told the BBC: “Lorcan’s been fighting with all his might and we are bursting with pride at the strength he is showing so far.

“However, we are on our own, a 14-hour flight away from our family and friends, and it has been a very difficult start to parenthood whilst Lorcan remains in hospital.”

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Wilkin­son thanked netizens for their support and said: “Baby Lorcan is now two weeks old and continuing to show great strength. All the beautiful messages and well wishes are keeping us positive in order to help him to grow.” The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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