A GRIEF-stricken family are crowdfunding to fly their mum’s body home to east London after she died while on holiday in Turkey, the East London Advertiser reports.
Heather Pyke, a 62-year-old carer from Fairfoot Road in Bromley-by-Bow, was taken ill two days into a family holiday with two daughters, a niece and a granddaughter.
Her nephew Dean Harding, 40 – a peer mentor working at the Headway East London brain injury charity in Kingsland Road, Haggerston – set up a crowdfunding page to fly her home while she was on life support.
But she died this week following a second heart attack.
Heather did not take out travel insurance because she thought her European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) would cover her in Turkey. However the EHIC is invalid because Turkey is not a member of the EU
The crowdfund cash is still needed to pay for £14,000 medical bills and a further £20,000 to get her home for the funeral.
“We’re all still in shock,” Dean said. “Heather had been in coma all the time and never regained consciousness while on life-support.”
“The family is in shock. Her daughter, my aunt Victoria Pyke, was with her at her bedside when Heather died. She is heartbroken. We can’t believe it – we expected to get her home to be treated here.”
Heather had been in a coma since July 22 when she collapsed in her hotel room in Marmaris. The family have managed to raise £7,500 from their bring Heather home crowdfunding so far.
Tragedy has struck the family before. Heather’s brother Keith Sinclair, 60, was stabbed to death in his flat in Bow Common in May.
Her husband Eddie died leaving her to raise four daughters on her own. One of her daughters died in childbirth in 2010 and she raised her granddaughter Scarlet, now aged seven, who was with her on the family holiday.
Heather’s nephew Dean Harding, 40, was featured in the Advertiser in 2005 recovering from brain injury and now works as a peer mentor at Headway East London.