Desperate mum is stranded in Cancun after holiday illness leaves her with £200k bill – and now she may lose her home


A MOTHER has been left fighting for her life after she caught pneumonia and bronchiolitis during a holiday to Cancun.

But with her insurer refusing to pay out, she may now lose her home after being handed huge medical bills.

Maxine Howell, from the West Midlands, was on holiday in Mexico to celebrate her 50th birthday when she was struck down with the illness.

However, her insurance provider Axa have refused to pay out for the majority of her hospital fees after claiming she did not declare she was taking medication for bipolar disorder, according to Birmingham Mail.

She has been left with bills of £200,000 and could face losing her home.

Her daughter Elle Lowe, told Birmingham Live how just a few days into her holiday, she was struggling to breathe before she was hospitalised.

She said: “The next thing I knew, she was in hospital and medics carried out a procedure to take fluid off her lungs and put her in a medically-induced coma.

“Knowing my mum went on a dream holiday and could never return is terrifying.”

She was asked to send her mum’s medical documents to Axa, only to be told the insurers could only pay 10.25 per cent of the costs as Maxine did not disclose her bipolar disorder, or that she had used an inhaler in the past.

Maxine would now be liable to pay the remainder of the 89.75 per cent of the medical bills, which is still mounting.

Elle said they had already spent £150,000 and were worried her mum could lose her house.

The family have since started a fundraising page to raise the money to cover the £200,000 costs.

A spokesperson for Axa told Sun Online Travel: “Whilst our thoughts are with Mrs Howell and her family, we are unable to comment on the specific circumstances at this time.

“Our priority is our customers’ wellbeing, and to ensure that when they need it, they get our support. Even in the event of non-disclosure of full medical history, we do our best to help them get the care they need.

“We encourage all holidaymakers to keep their insurer updated with their medical conditions, to ensure that their policies remain valid, and that they get the appropriate level of protection for their needs.”

Elle said she wanted to “thank everyone” who has already donated as it means “the world” to the family.

An investigation was launched into holiday insurance last year after finding firms were charging 18 times too much for “inferior policies”.

Treasury committee boss Nicky Morgan said it is becoming “increasingly difficult for vulnerable customers to access certain financial services”.