Hackney family needs £18,570 to fly DJ home after travel insurance firm refuses to pay out for holiday balcony fall
PUBLISHED: 12:45 07 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:02 08 September 2019
The family of a DJ who is paralysed after falling four floors from a balcony on holiday in Malta is trying to raise thousands of pounds to fly him back home, after the travel insurance company refused to pay out.
Father-of-two Paul Cartwright, 45, broke bones in his back, neck, pelvis, hips, leg, and foot after tumbling from the balcony in the room he was staying in Malta with his girlfriend.
He also severed an artery and his smashed pelvis bones pierced his bowel which had to be partly removed. On top of all that he has two collapsed lungs and was put in an induced coma due to the severity of his injuries, although he has now regained consciousness.
His girlfriend who had been sitting on the balcony with him before she went to bed has no idea how Paul came to fall - but he does have a history of sleepwalking.
According to his sister Niki, Paul - who grew up on the Clapton Park Estate and lived in Hackney until recently when he moved to Bromley - only avoided dying because he didn't land on his head.
His family has been quoted £18,570 to fly him home and has launched a fundraiser help cover the costs of a Medi Air Ambulance and the required medical team.
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She told the Gazette: "He's really lucky to be alive. My brother doesn't like heights so he wouldn't have been doing anything stupid.
"He had travel insurance, but they say they need to do an investigation. They are saying in their small print they don't cover balcony falls unless the balcony is faulty. It's going to be an ongoing battle with the insurance, but our main concern is to get him home as possible."
Luckily the UK has not yet departed from the EU and his hospital treatment is covered on the European Health Insurance card (EHIC).
"When me and mum went out there it was really horrible to see him on the ventilator," said Niki, from Stoke Newington.
"He's able to talk and move his hands but he can't move anything else because he's in a neck brace. He has a metal frame around his pelvis holding it in place and he can't sit up or move.
"We are going back so he's not on his own. It's very lonely out there, and he keeps saying, "I just want to come home now". He wants to be in London to be around his family."