Doncaster man dies after heart attack on holiday island

Stephen Harper.
Stephen Harper.

A devastated family has expressed their heartache after a grandfather-of-nine died after a heart attack on a Mediterranean holiday island.

Relatives had launched a desperate appeal to raise £40, 000 to bring Stephen Harper home after he suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma in Cyprus in May.

The family of the Doncaster man were hoping to raise the money to fly him back to the UK where he could continue his treatment in a care home.

They claimed they had no alternative but to launch the appeal because the travel insurance firm Mr Harper took a policy with was refusing to foot the bill.

However, devastated loved ones have revealed that he has now suffered another heart attack and died on the holiday island on June 15.

Daughter Gemma Stott revealed the tragic new on Facebook and said: "Such a sad day for the family.

"We are heartbroken beyond belief, we are just trying to get him home to be buried now.

"RIP to an amazing man, my father. I love you so much, and will miss you always dad."

Mr Harper, aged 61, and his wife Eileen, aged 57, both of Toll Bar, had flown out to Cyprus on May 1 to visit their son Clint and his wife Ann-Marie who live on the island with their three children.

But just hours after landing he complained about chest pains and was taken to Nicosia Hospital where he suffered a heart attack while undergoing surgery. He then fell into a coma before suffering the fatal heart attack in mid June, family members said.

About a month prior to flying he had fallen ill with chest pains and was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary. He was treated for pericarditis - fluid in the sac around the heart - and allowed home.

The family said doctors told him he was free to fly. But because Mr Harper did not disclose the condition on his policy with Puffin Insurance, they allegedly refused to pay for a specially adapted plane to fly him home.

However, Mr Harper's other daughter Kerrie Crompton said the firm has now pledged to pay to bring his body home.

She posted on Facebook: "The travel insurance company has now said that they will pay for the repatriation of our dad back to the UK, as of yet we don't know exactly what that will involve and cover but we are sure that whatever money we have raised will cover any other expenses."

Puffin Insurance had not replied to our requests for comment at the time of going to press.

A DRI spokesperson said: "When a patient has been in hospital and asks about going on holiday overseas, our standard advice is to check with the travel insurance company before travelling."