A tourist who suffered horrific injuries in Bali has been forced to fund an emergency flight back to Australia as his insurance company drags its feet.
Jacob Villablanca, from Terrigal on the NSW central coast, was hospitalized after a “serious motorcycle accident” left him unconscious on Wednesday.
The accident tore skin and muscle from his shin and left him with bleeding on the brain, meaning he needs emergency medical assistance to return home.
His mother Julie and sister Grace took the first plane to Bali to be at his hospital bedside with his brother, revealing the family were desperately fundraising for his flight back to Australia.
“The insurance company won’t approve him for four days and that’s too long. We need to get him back immediately for leg surgery,” Grace wrote on Facebook.
Jacob Villablanca (right), from Terrigal on the NSW central coast, was seriously injured after a motorcycle accident in Bali on Wednesday.
She also shared a graphic photo of the tibia showing skin and muscle torn away, leaving part of the bone exposed.
Friends back home rallied behind the family after it was revealed Mr Villablanca needed an “SOS” medical evacuation flight to Australia.
“Jacob was found unconscious and transported to a hospital in Bali,” his friend Aimee Kostrubic wrote in a post GoFundMe.
“He is now conscious but has significant damage to his lower limbs and bleeding to the brain.”
“Jacob has been advised to return to Australia as soon as possible to receive the medical help and surgery he desperately needs.”
Mr Villablanca’s family was told he needed an SOS recovery flight due to the extent of his serious injuries, costing $68,000.
“As you can imagine, the family are extremely distressed and want to get Jacob back to Australia as quickly as possible,” Ms Kostrubic said.
“He will need to undergo emergency surgery in Western Australia before returning home.”
More than $50,700 has been raised since the fundraiser was created on Thursday.
Mr Villablanca’s sister shared a graphic photo of his tibia showing skin and muscle torn away, leaving part of the bone exposed.
Mr Villablanca and his relatives have been forced to set up a GoFundMe to help him return home to Australia despite his insurance company yet to cover the costs.
The Villablanca family’s difficulties follow similar negative experiences other Australians have had with insurance companies while traveling.
In June, the fateful decision to relax with a few Long Island iced teas while vacationing in Thailand forever changed a devastated family’s life, with one woman’s insurer refusing to pay her medical bills as she remained in a “vegetative state” in the hospital.
Pest control company owner Paul Enwright sought help to bring his wife Kylee, 48, back from Thailand after a horror accident left her with a catastrophic brain injury.
The Enwright family from Singleton, New South Wales, were shocked to find their travel insurance had been invalidated, with their insurer claiming their partner drank too much alcohol before the fall, leaving them with $250,000 in medical bills .
They were on the second day of their Khao Lak holiday when tragedy struck on May 28, with Mr Enwright freely admitting they had had a few drinks at their resort’s pool bar on a rainy day.
The insurer’s investigators used surveillance footage and the couple’s bar tab – showing nine Long Island iced teas ordered to their room number – to determine that she could have had a blood alcohol content of 0, 35.
Disturbing footage showed the grandmother climbing down a wooden plank, apparently mistaking it for stairs, falling 50cm and landing on her face.
The family was faced with a huge medical bill because their insurer refused to cover the costs due to an alcohol restriction clause the Enwrights were unaware of.
According to consumer website Choice, most travel insurance policies have an exclusion clause that covers alcohol and drug use.
Choice warned that this means “there is a good chance your travel insurer will not pay claims resulting from your drunkenness.”
But like most people, the Enwrights were unaware of such a clause in their insurance coverage.
Kylie Enwright was left in “a vegetative state” in hospital following a fall while on a family holiday in Thailand.
Ms Enwright was left to pay a huge medical bill after her insurer refused to cover the costs due to an alcohol limit clause.
In August, an Australian man who crashed his scooter in Bali was left with a $370,000 bill because he didn’t tick the $7 motorcycle cover box on his travel insurance.
Blake Gibb, from Adelaide, traveled with two friends to the Indonesian island of Lombongan earlier this year, where he crashed his scooter into a cement wall after going over a bend.
He suffered multiple skull fractures and was transported to Bali International Medical Center, where he was left in a coma as he struggled to survive.
Mr Gibb was later transferred to an Adelaide hospital in a serious condition.
Her mother, Rosslyn Gibb, said travel insurer Freely, backed by Cover-More, agreed to pay for Blake’s hospital treatment and medical evacuation on the condition that she sign a form saying she would be responsible invoices if they subsequently refuse the claim.
“They (Bali doctors) decided to call the Medivac team to take him back to Australia because they were concerned he wouldn’t make it,” Ms Gibbs told Nine News.
The travel insurer ultimately denied Gibb’s claim because Blake had not added motorcycle coverage to the policy he had purchased.
The family turned to GoFundMe in their desperate attempt to raise money to cover $370,000 in medical costs.
Blake Gibb, from Adelaide, suffered multiple skull fractures after crashing his scooter into a cement wall