Grandad Graham Cliffe left to die in Majorca after insurers refuse to fly him home
INSURERS refused to fly a dying man back from Spain so he could spend his last days at home in North Staffordshire.
Grandad Graham Cliffe died in Majorca after being diagnosed with multiple brain tumours while on holiday.
His family wanted him to be flown back to the UK in an air ambulance, but Graham's travel insurers Axa refused to meet the £30,000 cost.
They say the company claimed the 68-year-old should not fly, despite Spanish doctors giving him the green light to return home.
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Graham, from Abbey Hulton, eventually died in a Majorcan hospital with only his daughter Julie beside him.
She says Axa's refusal to help made a difficult situation almost unbearable.
Julie, aged 40, from Hanford, said: "It's been very sad that my dad didn't have all his family with him in the end.
"It's been tough for me as well, having to sort out everything on my own.
"We knew dad was going to die, but we just wanted him to be with his family.
"It was very frustrating dealing with Axa. Dad was in hospital for two weeks and he could have been brought back home in that time.
"The Spanish doctors said he could fly but Axa's own medical team said they couldn't risk it as it would not be medically beneficial.
"It only costs them £1,000 to fly a coffin back, so I think they were just looking to save money."
Graham was diagnosed with skin cancer a year ago but was given the all clear and visited his GP for a check-up shortly before his holiday.
He flew out to Menorca on May 6 with sons Graham and John Cliffe but was taken to hospital with suspected bleeding on the brain shortly after arriving.
He was subsequently transferred to a hospital in Majorca, where doctors gave him just days to live after discovering several secondary tumours in his brain.
As John is deaf, it was agreed Julie would travel to Majorca to oversee her dad's care while the sons returned home.
Julie kept in constant communication with her mum Pauline and the rest of her family, keeping them informed of Graham's deteriorating condition.
She added: "The last few weeks have been so hard for my family. Dad was very close to his granddaughter Marion and her daughter Summer.
"He was an amazing dad, the best you could wish for. He was really popular as well. We've had loads of friends paying tribute to him."
Julie and her family are now waiting for Axa to arrange for Graham's body to be repatriated.
A spokesman for Axa said: "We are sorry to hear of the death of Mr Cliffe. Due to the highly sensitive nature of this case we need to liaise with the family and investigate the claim thoroughly to provide a response.
"We will provide more details in due course but in the mean time, our thoughts are with Mr Cliffe's family at this tragic time."
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