A family in England is attempting to return the body of a cherished family member who died while on vacation in Hawaii.
“I spoke to my parents and said to just take it easy on holiday and not exert themselves so they wouldn’t break a leg or sprain an ankle,” Dale Thompson told The Evening Chronicle following the death of his 74-year-old father, John Thompson.
“Dad has always had health issues but nobody was expecting this to happen,” he added.
According to The Evening Chronicle, John was in Honolulu with his wife, Eileen, when he fell over dinner on the seventh night of their trip. After paramedics were unable to revive him, he was taken to a nearby hospital and proclaimed dead.
“Yesterday I lost my soul mate, my best friend in the world – words can’t describe my feelings I loved you so much John xx can’t believe I’m coming home without you,” Eileen wrote in a Facebook post alongside pictures of the couple, who were married for 35 years.
While the cause of John’s death has not been revealed, Dale noted that complications with his parents’ travel insurance have made getting his father’s body back to the UK problematic.
“On the day of travel, my father must have discovered something was wrong with the insurance once they were through customs,” Dale explained to The Evening Chronicle, adding that their policy claimed they only needed three days of coverage.
“The insurance company wanted an additional £850 [approximately $1,000] so they asked for a refund and raised a complaint with the insurance company. They said they would get insurance with someone else but the company said they wouldn’t be able to as they were now through customs,” he continued.
To help cover medical a £30,000 (over $36,000) medical bill and £5,000 (approximately $6,000) in funeral costs to get John cremated and returned to their home, a GoFundMe campaign has been created.
According to the campaign, the GoFundMe organizer also plans to send a percentage of the money to the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, a nonprofit group dedicated to assisting tourists who are “victims of a crime or other hardships,” which aided Eileen following John’s death.
The campaign had raised £2,500 (just over $3,000) of its £5,000 goal as of Tuesday night.
Dale told the Birmingham Mail that they intend to send his father’s body back within the next four to six weeks, therefore a memorial service has been planned for April 28.