Disney World trip for seriously ill girl in doubt because of insurance problems

Hannah Jones due to fly out to Florida with her parents, Andrew, 42, Kirstie, 41 and brothers and sisters, Oliver, 12, Lucy, 10, and Phoebe, four, in three weeks' time.

But instead of getting excited they are facing the heartbreaking prospect of her being unable to travel.

The brave girl's life has been blighted ever since she was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of five.

Even though she has been in remission since May 2000 the treatment she received left her with severe heart failure.

She is currently on a cocktail of drugs to keep fluid away from her heart.

In June 2007 doctors told her should would have a maximum of six months to live, but so far she has defied those odds.

The trip has been organised by charity Caudwell Children and has been specifically designed for children with a high medical dependency.

A team of charity staff, volunteers, paramedics and doctors are due to assist Hannah and her family, from Marden in Hereford, to make sure they can create some happy memories of being together.

But Hannah's parents have been unable to find anyone to insure her for the trip.

Her father said: "We took Hannah home from a short spell in hospital in Dec 2007 and used Acorns Children's Hospice as a stop gap.

"Acorns put our names forward to Caudwell when they asked if there were any children who may like to be considered for their annual trip.

"We made the application, but didn't tell the children until it had been accepted, we wanted to be completely sure we were going.

"When it did get accepted in August we were over the moon and every since then have been busy getting everything ready.

"I just can't believe that it may all be taken away now.

"It's really heartbreaking because the kids don't even know what insurance is.

"The whole family has been looking forward to this because all their lives have been disrupted by Hannah's illness.

Hannah and her family are one of 40 families travelling to Orlando, Florida, as part of the Caudwell Children annual 'Destination Dreams' programme.

The families will stay in a specially designed resort called 'Give Kids The World' which gives children fighting life-threatening illnesses a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience with special medical support assistance.

Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive Officer for Caudwell Children, said: "It is now a race against time to find a company that is willing to insure Hannah to travel.

"From the 40 children we are taking on this special trip we had five that were originally refused but we have been able to gain insurance for all of them, except Hannah.

"Hannah dreams of visiting Disney World and it would be a magical distraction for the whole family to spend a week there enjoying all of the attractions Florida has to offer.

"We have tried about 30 different insurers and we just can't seem to get past the initial questionnaire stage with Hannah.

"Because she has been in remission for over five years cancer specific insurers wont cover her.

"The thing is we have budgeted for emergencies and could fly Hannah home if she did become really ill."

"We only have three weeks until we depart for America so we have to find insurance and grant Hannah this very special wish."


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