Woman improving after airlift drama

A SUFFOLK woman who was airlifted from a cruise ship in a dramatic medical emergency is expected to return to the UK this week.Pamela Frere, 47, of Battisford, was taken seriously ill while the Fred Olsen-owned cruise liner travelled to Madeira in Portugal.

A SUFFOLK woman who was airlifted from a cruise ship in a dramatic medical emergency is expected to return to the UK this week.

Pamela Frere, 47, of Battisford, was taken seriously ill while the Fred Olsen-owned cruise liner travelled to Madeira in Portugal.

She underwent an emergency hysterectomy and is today continuing her recovery in a hospital in the Spanish town of Vigo.

Her husband Mike Frere, 59, has kept a bedside vigil and told The Evening Star the couple's insurance company is planning to bring them back to the UK this week.

He said: “It has been a real up and down ride.

“She was operated on and the infection went away but a few days later it was back.

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“However she is out of intensive care now and being looked after in a ward although they are still carrying out tests every day.

“Our insurance company is trying to arrange for us to come back to the UK this week.

“It's not clear whether she will need to go into hospital on returning.

“The Spanish people here have really looked after us and the hospital has been great although we are quite keen to get back because of the communication difficulties.”

The couple, who live in Church Road, and work at a Bury St Edmunds car sales company, set off on the cruise on January 5 from Liverpool.

It was the following night that Mrs Frere complained of feeling ill.

The ship's doctor assessed her condition and took the decision that she could not wait for the ship to dock in Madeira two days later.

The captain changed course and headed for the Spanish coast while an air ambulance was scrambled to the ship, winching Mrs Frere aboard before flying her to hospital.

n>Have you been at the centre of a dramatic overseas rescue? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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