Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 16 November 2019

Ruler of Dubai to pay injured British teacher's hospital bills

Rebecca Chisholm, 24, suffered serious brain injuries and was airlifted to Hospital

Rebecca Chisholm (right) with her mother Wendy Skelton
Rebecca Chisholm (right) with her mother Wendy Skelton

The Ruler of Dubai will pay the medical bills of a British teacher who was seriously injured in a horse riding accident.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said he will cover the full cost of her treatment.

Rebecca Chisholm, 24, was riding with her mother in Dubai on May 10 when she was thrown from her horse. She suffered serious brain injuries and had to be airlifted to the government-run Rashid Hospital.

Her family and friends in the UK had been raising money to pay her substantial medical bills, with donations exceeding £60,000 (Dh279,000).

Ms Chisholm has medical insurance through the Dubai school she works, but it does not cover for sporting activities such as horse riding.

“His Highness directed authorities to take care of the young lady, after being informed about her family’s inability to cover the medical bill,” a statement from the Ruler's office said.

The gesture had “touched the hearts” of the teacher’s family, who said it reflected the fact that the UAE takes care of visitors to the country, according to the statement.

In an update posted online, the family described the offer as "the most generous gift we could ever have wished to receive" and paid tribute to Sheikh Mohammed, describing him as "a true and compassionate man".

Scans revealed Ms Chisholm had multiple skull fractures and a brain haemorrhage. She underwent two surgeries to relieve pressure and bleeding on her brain.

The accident was caused when the horse bolted and Ms Chisholm was thrown off, leaving her unconscious with serious head injuries and her face "caked in sand and blood", according to her mother, Wendy Skelton.

Ms Skelton said when her daughter came round, she said: "Mum, I am dying. I love you".

The money originally raised for medical bills will now be put towards a specialised flight back to the UK and paying for her recuperation.

Updated: May 24, 2019 11:34 AM

SHARE

SHARE