STEPHEN Sherran’s dream of retiring to the sun turned into a nightmare after he suffered a massive heart attack and fell into a coma.
Now his family are facing medical bills of tens of thousands of pounds.
Mr Sherran and with his wife, Doreen, were enjoying their new life in Kusadasi, Turkey, after emigrating from Westhoughton.
But in June the 59-year-old former Post Office worker suffered a heart attack and he has been in coma ever since.
He is being cared for in a Turkish hospital but because the couple had not renewed their health insurance the medical bills are now £45,000 and mounting.
British Government officials are advising the family but say they cannot offer any financial assistance. Mr Sherran’s distraught sisters are desperate to bring him back to Bolton and have launched a fundraising campaign.
They are also appealing for help with legal advice for 57-year-old Mrs Sherran so she can sell their Turkish home to help meet the medical bill.
Mr Sherran took early retirement five years ago to live in Kusadasi, which has a large ex-pat community, after falling in love with it while on holiday.
His sister Lynda Caloe, from Farnworth, said: ”Stephen and Doreen were really enjoying their life there.
“Like many people he did not have health insurance. They had it when the first moved and then they had other priorities and health insurance is very expensive. They did not have any health problems.”
She added: “The hospital is very good but we just want him home with his family.
“I can’t sleep, it is like a nightmare.”
Mrs Caloe said her sister-in-law is trying to sell the house but is unable to because Mr Sherran’s signature is needed.
She has sold her furniture and belongings to help fund her husband’s treatment Mr Sherran’s other sister, Diane Fallon, has flown to Turkey to be at her brother’s bedside.
Mrs Caloe said: ”Seeing Stephen like that has really upset her, and Doreen just does not know what to do, because she cannot sign for the house.”
The family have sent over audio tapes of their voices to be played to Mr Sherran, who has a 37-year-old daughter, to try to aid his recovery.
Mrs Caloe, aged 60, who is hoping to raise money for the cause with a stall at Bolton Market on Sunday, said: ”We need some legal advice on how to sell the house.
“If we were younger we would remortgage it to raise the money.
”We just need some help. I don’t even know how much it will cost to bring Stephen back to the UK.”
People living in Kusadasi have also staged fundraising events to help Mr Sherran.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are aware of the case of Mr Sherran and have sympathy for him and his family.
“Our Pro-Consul in Izmir is in touch with Mr Sherran’s family and has given support by contacting local authorities on the family’s behalf. It isn’t possible for the FCO to provide financial support in cases like this.
“Our travel advice for Turkey advises travellers to make sure they have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation, given the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is not valid there. British people living in Turkey can also access a healthcare plan which is available to ex-pats there.”
Turkey is not part of the European Union.
Anyone who can help the family with their fundraising or with legal advice is asked to ring 01204 520115.