A teacher stuck in a Turkish hospital after contracting E.coli has been flown back to the UK after a crowd-funding appeal raised more than £32,000 to bring her home.
Caroline Hope, who has been living in Turkey for four years, picked up the potentially deadly infection during surgery to treat advanced colon cancer last month.
The 37-year-old English teacher had decided to return home to Scotland after receiving her cancer diagnosis in January but complications from the surgery left her fighting for her life in Medical Park Hospital in Izmir, Turkey.
Desperate to bring her home, her family and friends raised more than £31,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a private medical evacuation, as there are strict rules around repatriations for medical reasons.
She was flown to Glasgow on an IAS medical air ambulance on Saturday, landing just before 7pm.
Her brother Scott Hope, who was with her in Turkey, said: “It has been a very emotional day today. Caroline was relieved and so happy this morning, she kept asking when the plane was coming and we had to keep saying we’re just waiting for it to land.
“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the crowdfunding campaign, within two and a half days we had completely smashed our target of what we had hoped to get.
“The way everyone came together around the work to send love and support and best wishes was unbelievable.”
Ms Hope has been taken by ambulance to hospital in Glasgow where her condition will be evaluated.
Mr Hope, who has remained in Turkey to sort out his sister’s affairs, said his mother was waiting for her at the hospital.
His wife Pauline, who lives in South Africa, said the family were relieved that her sister-in-law has returned to Scotland and are grateful to those who supported the crowd-funding appeal.
She said: “It’s just an amazing, overwhelming feeling. It’s just been a really tough couple of months.
“She was very excited to be going back to Glasgow and to have her friends and family around to support her.
“Scotland is the most incredible nation. We were just very lucky to have the support that we got.”
In a message on the JustGiving crowdfunding page, Ms Hope’s friend Bella Shek wrote: “Thank you so, so, so, so much to everyone who has donated to get Caroline home.
“On behalf of Caroline, her family and all her friends, the support from all of you and the general public, many of whom have never met Caroline before has been truly overwhelming.”