Ribble Valley dad who owned Chocolate Box in Clitheroe facing $10K medical bills a day while fighting for life with Strep A infection
The Ramsgreave dad-of-four (59) has been fighting for his life on a ventilator in intensive care after becoming ill on Christmas Day with flu, Strep A and pneumonia.
David Verlander, who used to own the Chocolate Box in Clitheroe, faces $10,000 a day in medical bills after his daughter, who lives in Canada, discovered she did not have insurance through her credit card as previously thought.
The family are trying to raise as much money as possible to cover his treatment, with their totals bills expected to exceed $100,000.
David’s daughter Hollie Verlander, a former Ribblesdale High School student and staff member at Apricot Meringue in Clitheroe, said: “It’s horrendous. He is very ill and the doctors were preparing us for the worst. They put him in an induced coma because he couldn’t breathe for himself and his body needs to fight the infection.”
Although David began to feel poorly a few days before Christmas, his doctors gave him the green light to visit Hollie with her brother. But things took a worrying turn when he began to deteriorate on the flight over and was given oxygen by a nurse.
Exhausted, he went home to sleep and was given antibiotics for a chest infection by a doctor the following day. But by Christmas Day, he was in agony, so the family took him to hospital.
"We hadn’t realised how bad it was. He was in so much pain,” said Hollie.
David was admitted overnight while medics carried out tests, with Hollie adding: “My brother and I came home and then we had a call to say he’d been put on life support.”
The siblings are now waiting for their dad to wake up from the coma to start the next phase of his treatment.
"Every day we’ve been talking to him and playing him music,” said Hollie.
"It’s very hard. The trip has been so stressful. We are the only ones connected to both my dad and the hospital. We’re constantly inundated with messages from people wanting updates. It’s very overwhelming.
"I feel so much for my family back home. The time difference makes it hard. They’re waiting for updates while we are sleeping. I’m up a lot during the night because it’s the only time I can talk to my family, and then they’re up at night because that’s when we’re in the hospital. We want to support each other but we’re in separate countries. In the perfect world, we would fly my sister and mum out but the money could be going in the pot.
"But there has been such an outpouring of support, from people we don’t even know. It’s so humbling.
“My dad is a hard-working but funny family guy. He’s a golfer and sports-orientated. Coming here, he was excited to watch ice hockey and and go ice fishing.
"He’s very well-loved for his personality, which I think is why he’s had such a big out-pouring from people, and I want to say thank you for the support.”
To donate, please visit https://gofund.me/4aedce75 or search for David Verlander on the Go Fund Me website.