Updated: Oct 10, 2022
With the growing number of British nationals who we help return to the UK - many of whom are vulnerable people with long term illnesses - the BBF plays a vital enabling role.
For people with serious illness or impairment travelling alone is impossible.
We are indebted to volunteers like Wendie who give up their time to help others.
Unfortunately travel these days is more of a challenge than ever - however nobody could have foreseen the ordeal that Wendie went through in order to help a vulnerable British lady be repatriated from a Malaga hospital so that a relative could register her for a UK medical facility.
Below is her account which has been edited for privacy purposes.
It remains a testament to Wendie´s character for which we are indebted.
I left my home in Manilva at 6pm Wednesday 7th September 2022 to go to Malaga Airport. I arrived at 7.30pm left my car at the airport and took a taxi to the Hospital Clinico Universitario Virgen de la Victoria where the patient was in Room 337. I obtained the paperwork from the ward nurse, and we were taken to the airport by Ambulance. On arrival at 9.00pm we went to Sin Barreras Assistance Team who took us through security and passport control and then to the gate at 9.30pm to await our flight to Gatwick at 11.25pm. At 8.51pm email received from Wizz Air to say flight delayed until 11.55pm At 9.52pm email received from Wizz Air to say flight now delayed until 02.55am on the 8th September. At 10.59pm email received from Wizz Air to say flight cancelled. Asssitance then took us to the AviaPartner desk and we were booked on the Wizz Air flight at 11.20am on 8th September, the following day, I spoke to the British Consulate to say that the patient could not stay overnight at the airport or in a hotel as she was in a wheelchair and could not walk and needed personal hygiene products.
It was arranged for us to go to A & E at the Hospital Clinico where they would let the patient and myself stay in a side room. We arrived at the hospital at 1.00pm in a taxi and stayed there until 7.00am when we returned to the airport in a taxi. Whilst we were at the hospital they attended to the patient´s hygiene. Whilst at the hospital I booked a flight for myself from Gatwick to Malaga for Friday 9th September at 5.50am. Our flight to Gatwick was 11.20am so we had a four hour wait. We boarded the aircraft with help from Assistance and at 11.29am the Captain said that there was a problem at Gatwick and we would be waiting on the runway for the next two hours. At 2.20pm we took off for Gatwick and landed at 5.29pm. Gatwick assistance helped us off the plane and I handed the patient over to her relative. I then had to book a hotel for the night and due to the amount of cancellations had to book a hotel in Betchworth, Surrey. I took a taxi from the airport and arrived at the hotel at 9.15pm. I had booked a taxi to Gatwick at 3.30pm to enable me to catch my flight to Malaga. At 3.19am I received an email from Easyjet to say my 5.55am flight to Malaga had been cancelled. I looked on Skyscanner and the only available direct flight for Friday 9th September was at 9.00pm arriving Malaga at 00.55am on Saturday 10th September. All the other flights were one stop at either Madrid or Barcelona. On checking the Easyjet website, I saw there was a 7.00am flight to Gibraltar so booked a seat. On checking the departure board at Gatwick saw the Gibraltar flight had been delayed. We took off from Gatwick at 9.51am and I landed at Gibraltar at 12.50pm. I then took a bus at 2.20pm from La Linea to Estepona and then a 4.15pm coach to Malaga Airport where I was able to collect my car from storage. I eventually arrived home at 6.30pm
THANK YOU WENDIE!