Horrific injury mars holiday in Israel

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Holiday Ankle AccidentA Hertfordshire woman’s holiday with family in Israel turned into an expensive nightmare when a horrific boating accident left her ankle almost severed from her foot.

Jane Beirne, aged 57, from Hertfordshire needed extensive surgery to repair the injury, which resulted in her having to pay uninsured costs of more than £10,000.

"We had gone for a day trip to the Sea of Galilee and took one of those pedalo boats out," explained Jane who lives at Wood Hall Farm in Hemel Hempstead. "When we’d finished, I climbed back onto the jetty and it started wobbling. There were no hand rails and I fell into the water. I didn’t feel anything at the time, but something didn’t seem right and when I looked, my heel was hanging off my foot!"

Jane was rushed to a nearby hospital where surgeons carried out an emergency operation. Although the surgery was successful, it left Jane with a substantial medical bill.

"This was where everything went wrong because I hadn’t taken out holiday insurance. It’s something I’ve always done but on this occasion I just overlooked it, possibly because I booked the flights online for the first time and this involved a different procedure."

As a result Jane had to pay for the £7,000 operation. Having to stay in Israel for an extra six weeks plus additional medical expenses added £3,000 to the total cost.

"The hospital staff were brilliant and there was never a suggestion that they wouldn’t do the operation unless I paid up-front," said Jane. "The accident happened in April 2010 and I now have the use of my foot, although it’s still numb in places and gets cold."

Nick Harris who is head of Simpson Millar’s Travel Law team said: "It would appear that the jetty in this case was both dangerous and unsafe; and the boat operator’s safety procedures were obviously inadequate. Nevertheless, Jane’s story highlights just how important it is to take out travel insurance before you go on holiday this summer."

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