A Punjabi family is going through tough financial circumstances after their mother, who was visiting from India, suffered a massive heart attack and slipped into coma on Wednesday night.
Preeti k McCarthy

13 Oct 2017 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 16 Oct 2017 - 10:49 AM

Sukhdeep Singh’s parents arrived in Melbourne Australia in June this year to visit the family and welcome their grandchild who was due in the coming weeks.

Speaking to SBS Punjabi, Sukhdeep Singh mentioned that everything was going fine until Wednesday morning, when their mother, Gurmeet Kaur showed signs of uneasiness.

After they took her to their local GP, they found that she had a reading of over 165 for her blood pressure. Sukhdeep says that the GP prescribed her medication which she was supposed to take after food and also some further tests in the future.

Things changed that evening though when Gurmeet Kaur starting having difficulty breathing.

The family had just driven out of the house to take her back to the doctor when she lost consciousness. Instinctively, Sukhdeep pulled to the side of the road and called triple zero. He says that they were granted assistance straight away over the phone.

"They gave us assistance straight away. They told us what to do like CPR and then within minutes, police, ambulance and fire brigade were there to take over from us,” Sukhdeep tells SBS Punjabi.

Sukhdeep says that the paramedics worked on his mother for around 40 minutes at the scene to stabilise her enough so she could be transported to Monash hospital. Once at the hospital, Sukhdeep had to sign consent forms for further tests and procedures as time was running out for doctors to save her. 

"We didn’t consider [travel insurance] at that time. The travel agent too didn’t suggest taking out travel insurance. The condition for compulsory travel insurance was enforced July onwards and my parents came here in June"

Various procedures have been done including angiography etc and a lot more test are ongoing but Gurmeet Kaur has been in coma since and the family is desperate to communicate with her.

“I call out to her every day, but she does not respond," a clearly stressed Sukhdeep Singh says.

To add to their vows, Sukhdeep’s parents did not take out any travel insurance before coming to Australia. Sukhdeep says that they didn’t think about it and neither did the agent advise them for the same.   

"We didn’t consider it at that time. The travel agent too didn’t suggest taking our travel insurance. The condition for compulsory travel insurance was enforced July onwards and my parents came here in June," he says.

"Money is not everything. Life is more important always."

With a new baby in the house and other household expenses and him being the eldest in the family, Sukhdepp is now under tremendous financial burden to keep his mother in ICU at Monash hospital. He is paying $5400 per night only for ICU plus other expenses like tests and medication that, in total, are costing him around $7,000 per day.

Even though situation is tough, he is determined to stay strong and push on to try to do everything to get ends meet.

“I want to stay strong," says Sukhdeep.

"Money is not everything. Life is more important always."

He has also set up a GoFundMe page to get help from the community so he can pay medical and hospital bills.

This incident is another strong reminder that travel insurance is very important for people to take out before travel overseas.  

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