Woman billed £6,500 for life-saving surgery following brain bleed in Belgium
- Credit: Bridget Baraona
A woman has been billed nearly £6,500 for life-changing surgery after suffering a brain bleed in Belgium.
Bridget Baraona, 28, had only been in the country for one week when she collapsed to the ground unexpectedly on September 7 this year.
"I had brain surgery that day and was put in a coma for 10 to 12 days," she said. "All I remember is collapsing and then waking up in intensive care."
Ms Baraona, who grew up in the Golden Triangle in Norwich before moving to Manchester three years ago, moved to Belgium to begin a new life after a stressful few years.
She accepted a job as a nanny and had returned from a shopping trip with two small children when she fainted on the kitchen floor.
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The former nursery school assistant found out she was born with a brain malformation which caused a bleed, leaving her paralysed on the left side of her body.
"My family thought I wouldn't live through it," she said. "It was such a shock."
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Following two more brain surgeries and learning how to eat, drink, speak and walk again, Ms Baraona was discharged from hospital after nine weeks and returned to the UK.
But she has recently received a medical bill from the Belgium hospital, for 7,752 euros - around £6,500.
With no income since August, Ms Baraona said she could not afford to pay the bill.
"It's pretty horrific to be honest," she said. "I had to have the surgery, I didn't have a choice."
Her friend of 17 years, former Hewett Academy student Emily A'Court, of Avenue Road, Norwich, has set up a fundraising page to help pay off the bill.
Mrs A'Court said: "Bridget is one of the best people I know and I wanted to start the fundraiser to give her some support and show her that she deserves some of the kindness and care she's always giving to everyone else.
"It has been so lovely how many of our old school friends that we haven't spoken to in years have donated to show they care and I know she has been really touched by that."
Ms Baraona said raising enough money for the medical bill would be life-changing, adding: "I'm absolutely bowled over by how much support this campaign has already received."
To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/getting-bridget-back-on-her-feet