A GLASGOW woman battling flu is trapped in a Florida hospital and facing a £100,000 medical bill because of a dispute over her insurance claim.

Lorraine Romeo, 55, flew out to the sunshine state in December with close family, including her six-year-old grandson Marley, but her first ever trip overseas turned into a nightmare.

Lorraine, who was born in Royston, suffers from the lung condition Emphysema and started to feel unwell around eight days into the holiday.

She was taken to hospital and doctors diagnosed Influenza B, which claimed the lives of two children in Australia last week.

She was transferred to intensive care and put on a ventilator and at one point doctors did not think she would survive.

Although her condition has now stabilised doctors will not allow her to fly home unless she is accompanied by a doctor and other medical equipment including a supply of oxygen. The bill for her treatment is already well over £100,000.

The family say she disclosed her medical history, fully, to the insurance company, Worlds First, and say they could not have foreseen that she would contract flu but the company are refusing to pay out.

Lorraine’s niece, Donna Riley, 33, from Royston, who was on the trip with her husband Ricky and four children said the family are now in a desperate situation as they try to raise enough money to bring her home.

She said: “We had booked a holiday to Florida and we were there for four weeks and she was coming for two with her son, Malcolm. It really was a holiday of a lifetime.

“She suffers from Emphysema and had to go for the all the tests to make sure she was fit to go.

“We arrived on December 20 and she started feeling unwell a few days later. She thought it was just a chest infection but kept feeling unwell.

“I phoned the insurers and they told us to get a doctor or get her to hospital.

“We got her in and within a couple of hours, they told us she had influenza B, which then caused her to develop pneumonia.”

Lorraine, who now lives in Lowestoft, in Suffolk, is now well enough to be transferred back to the UK. However, the insurance company is refusing to foot the bill for the doctor and equipment she requires to fly home.

Lorraine’s son Malcolm, 23, said: “They strung us along for weeks and weeks, until they finally decided to decline her case, leaving me and my mother stuck in Florida, putting it down to “pre existing conditions” which she ran by them prior to the trip.

“In my eyes they clearly just didn’t want to pay for what she needed.

“ I think for the company to leave us to fend for ourselvees is sickening.”

Donna added: “Virgin Airlines really have been fantastic, they have kept her flight open and they contacted the insurers.

“The financial ombudsman has sent a report to the company saying they want it investigated. But they said it would take at least eight weeks and we can’t wait that long.”

The family have launched a fundraising page with a target of £7000 to bring Lorraine home and have so far raised more than £2,300.

Donn said: “I don’t even care about the page, I just want this highlighted.”

To make a donation go to www.gofundme.com/s75nvv-getting-lorraine-home