A Hungarian couple from the isles are stuck in a nightmare scenario after a serious accident during a holiday in Germany.
Anett Gyenge and Gergely Barta were sightseeing in Stuttgart when 33 year-old Anett, who works as a waitress and barmaid at the Shetland and Lerwick hotels, slipped on some wet, cobbled steps outside a church.
She was airlifted to hospital, where she was put into an induced coma for two weeks. Doctors performed a laryngectomy – the removal of the larynx and separation of the airway from the mouth, nose and esophagus – to help her breathe. They also removed part of her skull.
Mr Barta, 32, who works at the Scalloway Meat Company and, more recently, the Thule Bar in Lerwick, has been forced to spend the couple’s savings as he has remained by Anett’s bedside during her treatment. The couple did not have travel insurance – only the blue, National Insurance-issued, EU health insurance cards.
Now, a Facebook page has been set up with a crowd funding attachment to try to raise some money to help Mr Barta, who is stranded and penniless in Stuttgart, with living costs.
The page reached its target of £2,000 within eight hours, and people are still donating.
Mr Barta does not speak German, and there is uncertainty over what the EU health insurance card will cover the cost of all the treatment Anett has received.
Friends of the couple say they have sought information from the NHS, but have been given little indication about whether Annett’s treatment will be covered. The German health service say the cost of Annett’s initial treatment was 55,000 euros.
The Hungarian government will not help them because they have lived in the UK too long and paid their taxes here.
Anett is now out of her coma but is unable to talk, write or walk. She cannot remember what happened. She still has to undergo an operation to place an implant over the gap in her skull. They have to remain in Germany until she recovers from the implant operation.
Mr Barta has not been able to contact the UK government services for help.