And now they might not even be able to bring her body home
A BRITISH woman has died in a Bangkok hospital after becoming trapped in Thailand when her family couldn’t afford to pay her £36,000 medical bills.
Kathryn Williamson, from North Shields, spent more than two months on life support after collapsing while on holiday in the country.
Kathryn Williamson died in Thailand while her sisters Elizabeth Phillips and Tracey Blythe were trying to raise money to cover her medical bills
Her family were trying to raise the £36k needed for her treatment when she died
Her family on Tyneside launched a fundraising drive to try and bring the 51-year-old home and cover her medical bills.
But sadly nothing could be done to save Kathryn – who died last week.
And now her family are facing the devastating prospect that they might not even be able to bring her body home – with medics holding her to ransom until the £36k bill is paid.
Her heartbroken sister Elizabeth Phillips, 58, said: “We don’t know what happens now. I don’t know if we will be able to get her back. We will only be able to make a contribution to the hospital and until they are paid they won’t release her body.”
Kathryn grew up in North Shields with her siblings, Elizabeth, William, Tracey and Derek, who has since passed away.
Their dad George Williamson was well-known in the area as the leader of Collingwood Youth Club.
Kathryn was enjoying a holiday with her partner when she suffered a shock collapse on May 17.
“Kathryn had been ill for a long time and suffers from arthritis,” Elizabeth said.
“I think the heat hit her. She wasn’t well and went to bed then got up and just collapsed.”
Mum-of-three Elizabeth said her sister had suffered health problems from a young age.
“She asked for nothing and just got on with her life,” she said.
They are still fundraising in the hope that family, friends and strangers may be able to help
“She was very good with children, it’s a pity she never became a nursery nurse.
“She was always very loving when she was with her family.”
While Kathryn was in hospital Elizabeth set-up an online fundraising page in the hope that friends and strangers might donate to help bring her sister home.
The fund will remain open in a bid to help raise enough money to get Kathryn’s body released.
Elizabeth added: “It is a comfort that she is not suffering anymore. It is a relief that it is all over and she is now in peace.”