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Sick Scot battling infection in Cambodian hospital told hand over £20k or docs will take out lung

Daily Record logoDaily Record 22/05/2020 Vivienne Aitken
a man and a woman taking a selfie: Anthony Igoe has had partner Alana Fonseca by his bedside in hospital since he fell ill in Cambodia © UGC Anthony Igoe has had partner Alana Fonseca by his bedside in hospital since he fell ill in Cambodia

A sick Scot has been told he will lose a lung unless he can come up with the cash to pay for private treatment.

Anthony Igoe, 31, was taken to hospital in Cambodia, where he is a teacher, with a serious infection in his lungs.

But medics in the poverty-stricken country have now told him he will have to pay £20,000 for antibiotic drugs – or doctors will simply remove the infected lung.

Now his family are desperately trying to raise the money.

Dad Jerry, 66, from Clydebank, said: “My guts are in knots. I wake up in the middle of the night and it feels as if I have been eating a ton of ice.

“I have no real words to say how it feels to have a son in hospital and be unable to get to him. His sister Andrea is in Australia and she is doing what she can from there to help too.”

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Anthony Igoe in hospital in Cambodia © Internet Unknown Anthony Igoe in hospital in Cambodia

He asked Scots: “Please help as much as you can.”

Girlfriend Alana Fonseca, 28, has been by Anthony’s bedside since he took ill.

She said: “If I could, I would have brought him home to Scotland but he is not allowed to fly. We have literally been told the doctors at the public hospital will have to remove Anthony’s lung because the drugs he needs are too expensive if we can’t pay for them.”

And she begged Scots: “Please help us.”

Anthony picked up two bacterial infections in Cambodia.

His insurance firm, Cigna, are refusing to pay for his treatment because they say he was already suffering from the lung condition when he took out a policy in February.

The first indication Anthony was ill was in January when he started coughing and getting chest pains. He was given antibiotics by doctors in Cambodia.

In March, Anthony began to feel poorly again – and his health has gone downhill due to the lung ­infection.

Alana said: “He was warm to the touch and one day in school he lay down on the floor and said, ‘I can’t do this.’ It was the first indication he was so sick.

“He just got worse and his fever wasn’t going away. The last week in April he was really bad. He had lost 20 kilos in a month.”

Alana took him to hospital where he was taken to intensive care.

She said: “This is when we realised things were really bad. I feel so guilty I didn’t get him to hospital before.”

After tests, it was found he’d picked up two bacteria. One has led to an abscess in his lung – causing permanent damage – while the other led to pneumonia.

a person standing in front of a body of water posing for the camera: Anthony Igoe with girlfriend Alana Fonseca © UGC MSN Anthony Igoe with girlfriend Alana Fonseca

Alana added: “He needs to be in hospital for at least another week on very strong intravenous ­antibiotics and then he will need between eight months of strong oral antibiotics as well as X-rays.

“We both feel so very alone here. No one can travel to us and we have no family out here.”

Alana has set up a GoFundMe page which has already raised almost half of the money but they desperately need the rest to ensure Anthony’s ­treatment continues.

Jerry said: "The hospital has been very good and Anthony's treatment in Cambodia has been great. Our problem is with the insurance company."

Alana added: "The Khmer people have been very kind and helpful and we have no issue with the hospital or its staff."

Last night a spokesman from Cigna said: "“We will always do everything we can to best address our customers’ needs.

"The enquiry is being addressed internally and an update will be shared with the concerned individual shortly. "We hope you will understand that to protect the privacy of all our customers, we cannot enter into any public discussion about an individual’s policy or personal situation, under any circumstances."

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