Reds rally behind local fan

Reds’ supporter Abby Hartley – mum to Sophie and Toby and wife to Richard – has been in hospital in Bali since August 1, and if facing mounting medical bills as her insurance company has declined to cover her illness. Photo – Givealittle.

The Cambridge Football Club has rallied behind supporter Abby Hartley, who is lying seriously ill in a Bali hospital, with senior players competing in the Northern League sporting red armbands at their matches at the weekend. Paul Richardson, head coach of the Reds, said: ‘We wanted to wear dark red armbands to show our support for Abby and let her family know we’re thinking of them.’

Abby is the mother of Toby Hartley (16), who plays in the Reds’ reserve team, and she is an avid supporter of the club. On the first day of a holiday in Bali with her husband Richard at the start of the month, Abby fell ill and was subsequently hospitalised with a twisted bowel, which had caused a section of her bowel to die. Things went from bad to worse, and Abby went into a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and was placed into an induced coma. She was then suffering from a severe infection and high fever, with x-rays showing fluid in her lungs and one collapsed lung. To compound the stress, the insurance company Abby had her travel insurance with have declined coverage of her treatment on the grounds that the twisted bowel was a pre-existing condition. With the cost of her treatment exceeding the $75,000 mark so far, the family has set up a Givealittle page for support, which at the time of going to print had raised in excess of that to help with the mounting medical costs.

The Chief executive of the Insurance Council of New Zealand, Tim Grafton, said that if a customer and insurance company cannot come to an agreement about a decision, the insurer will issue the customer with a letter of deadlock that can be taken to the external disputes resolution scheme (EDRS) the insurer is registered with. “It’s free to take a complaint to an EDRS and any judgment issued is binding on an insurer,” he concluded.

Anyone wishing to help the family with Abby’s medical bills can visit www.givealittle.co.nz and search ‘Help Abby Fight’ to make a donation.

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