A British woman has died in a Bangkok hospital two months after collapsing while on holiday – leaving relatives with a £36,000 medical bill.

Kathryn Williamson was visiting with her husband when she passed out in May this year shortly after waking up. She began suffering seizures, slipped into a coma and was put on a life-support machine in the Thai capital.

Two months later she has died – and the family face a legal dispute about paying the bills in order to have the body released for burial or cremation.

Kathryn’s sister Elizabeth Phillips, left, said the family now face a £36,000 medical bill
Kathryn’s sister Elizabeth Phillips, left, and sister Tracy, right, with a picture of their late sibling Kathryn (Picture: Newcastle Chronicle)

“We don’t know what happens now. I don’t know if we will be able to get her back. We will only be able to make a contribution to the hospital and until they are paid they won’t release her body,’ Kathryn’s sister Elizabeth Phillips, 58, told the Newcastle Chronicle.

Kathryn is understood to have travelled to Thailand without travel insurance to cover medical expenses.

Thai medics kept Kathryn alive despite please from her family to turn off the machines.

Kathryn Williamson, left, who has died after two months in a hospital in Thailand
Kathryn Williamson, left, who has died after two months in a hospital in Thailand (Picture: Newcastle Chronicle)

They told the family it was against their ‘customs and beliefs’ to turn off life-support machines even when the patient has no chance of recovering.

Instead, medical bills continued to mount up.

If this story makes anything clear it is the need for the best travel insurance when taking a trip to Thailand.

There are some very low prices online for as little as £10, depending on age and previous medical conditions.

Anyone who has existing health problems should seriously reconsider taking a holiday in Thailand. Anyone with health problems who does want to visit Thailand should make sure they are covered by travel insurance.

The country has a private health care system, which is very expenisve for serious treatment. Thai medics generally see injured or sick westerners as a cash cow – because they can send enormous bills that are covered by the travel insurance companies.

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