'My world crumbled': Aussie couple's fight to come home after horror injury
An Australian man is fighting to bring his wife home from the United Kingdom after she suffered a horror brain injury that caused her to collapse lifeless in his arms.
Vincent Louie said he was told to give up hope of his wife, Anna, recovering after she fell into a coma last year.
The Melbourne pair moved to London in 2014, but it was after their wedding in 2017 that their lives changed dramatically.
A golf ball-sized benign tumour was located in Mrs Louie's throat and although it was removed it continued to cause swelling that required four surgeries over a year in order to have it reduced.
The complications continued until April 17 last year, when Mr Louie said he witnessed "the worst moment of my life".
"Anna had vomited, leading to an airway obstruction. I still remember her face as she was struggling to breath for a good seven to eight minutes until her heart stopped in front of my eyes and she collapsed lifeless in my arms," he wrote on a crowdfunding site.
"As the paramedics rushed in, our flat was turned into a battle zone with blood on the floor and medical supplies everywhere.
"After 1.5 hours, eight paramedics and two doctors, they managed to revive Anna, but she was unconscious and placed into an induced coma upon arriving into hospital."
Mr Louie said doctors told him his wife had suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a lack of oxygen and urged him to consider "letting her go" because her condition meant she would lose her memories and personality.
"The emergency ward consultant sat down and told me this: 'Remember how I wanted you to have hope earlier in the week, I'm sorry but I don't want you to have hope any more'," Mr Louie said.
"Hearing those words from the doctors destroyed me. My world crumbled on that day."
Mrs Louie's condition improved over the next 10 months, and she regained memories and was able to move her head and legs, her husband said.
She is no longer in a coma, but breathes with the help of a tracheostomy tube and is still unable to see or speak.
The couple now want to return to Australia to be around family and continue medical treatment at home.
"The public health system in London has given up on her," Mr Louie said.
"Being on the other side of the world with no family and close friends for support these last 10 months has been extremely difficult to say the least.
"To bring Anna home will come at a significant cost. She requires medical transfers to and from the airport, two medical escorts on board, portable suction machine and 24/7 care whilst making the long 24-hour flight home."
The family this week created a crowdfunding campaign that has already amassed more than AUD$78,000 in donations, close to their goal of $80,000.
"She will be able to continue further rehabilitation in Melbourne, where I know the public health system will not give up on her," Mr Louie said.
"Anna is hoping to one day be able to see and hold her nephew again. She is craving to sip a cup of coffee, and to eat her favourite durian cake.
"I am longing for the day when my wife can look me into my eyes and say these three words – 'I love you'."