Family say ex-Northampton firefighter is being ‘held hostage’ over £100,000 medical bill in Philippines

Submitted picture
Submitted picture

A Northamptonshire family are desperately trying to raise funds as bills rise daily to bring their father back to the UK from a hospital abroad.

Peter Robinson, aged 66, was rushed to hospital in the Philippines, where he had been living for five years, after suffering a stroke last month.

But, being an uninsured patient, Our Lady of Lourdes medical centre in Olongapo City are currently refusing to discharge him until all his rising medical bills are covered.

His daughters, Diane Sutton, a nurse at the Kettering Hospital stroke unit, and Dale Robertson, who works for Northampton Borough Council, have spent the past four weeks pleading with the hospital and UK and Filipino embassies to negotiate his return to the UK.

Mrs Robertson, from Victoria Road in Northampton, said: “He suffered a brain stem stroke and is completely paralysed; he can only move his eyes up and down. He was in intensive care last week, they wanted to discharge him, now they are feeding him through a tube and want to perform a tracheotomy. But even then they won’t let him leave until we pay – they are holding him hostage and a transfer could cost up to £100,000.”

Mrs Sutton spent yesterday on Skype with her father and organising a telephone conference with the hospital and Filipino consulate. Late yesterday, they agreed to negotiate with the hospital about the possibility of making payments out of Mr Robinson’s pension and reducing the costs if he can be repatriated.

Peter Robinson used to live with his four children at the Upper Mounts Fire Station in Northampton when he worked as a firefighter in the town. Described by his daughters as a “whirlwind”, he visited the Philippines to carry out Missionary work in orphanages when he met a new partner and decided to relocate permanently.

To find out how to take part in the family’s fundraising, visit “Bring Northampton’s Robinson Crusoe Home” on Facebook