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UK mum accused of drug smuggling after life-saving brain surgery in Spain

SWNS
1,038 次觀看
2 個月前
<p>A British mum who had life-saving brain surgery in Spain was stopped by UK Border Force officials who accused her of drug smuggling.<br></p><p>Rachel Pighills, 36, was left at risk of being "internally decapitated" following a freak ceiling fan accident.</p><p>She was moving into a new house in August 2018 when the whizzing blades of the fan smashed her on the back of the head.</p><p>The impact left her with atlanto axial instability and basilar invagination - meaning her brain was literally sinking into her spine. </p><p>It meant she could no longer turn her head because each time she did her spine would partially dislocate, increasing the risk of paralysis or death. </p><p>Rachel and husband Guy, 41, spent almost four years trying to raise £215,000 for pioneering surgery which is not available on the NHS. </p><p>They finally reached the milestone earlier this year thanks to a woman in her 60s from Warwickshire who loaned them £130,000.</p><p>After being told it was too risky for Rachel to travel to Barcelona by plane for the operation, Guy drove her 1,055 miles in a second-hand ambulance.</p><p>The 13-and-a-half-hour surgery on May 20 involved inserting metal rods into her spine and re-setting the position of her skull and brain stem.</p><p>The operation was a success and after almost four weeks in hospital, Rachel and Guy drove back to the UK on June 17.</p><p>But after a 20-hour overnight ferry from Santander to Plymouth, they were stopped by Border Force officials who accused them of drug smuggling.</p><p>Disturbing images show a sobbing Rachel lying on a stretcher while connected to an oxygen tank inside a warehouse at the docks.</p><p>Officials took almost four hours to complete their meticulous search of the ambulance </p><p>before allowing the couple to continue on their journey.</p><p>In an ironic twist, the couple say the officials and sniffer dogs failed to detect powerful opiates which Rachel had been given by the clinic to control the pain.</p><p>The couple, who have a 14-year-old daughter, eventually made it back home to their home in Pershore, Worcs., where Rachel is now recovering.</p><p>The couple are now raising money to pay back the £130,000 loan.<a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/q8tc99-rachels-fight-for-life"></a><br></p>
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