A teenager put into a coma after developing pneumonia on a family holiday in Spain is back in Scotland after her relatives fundraised more than £80,000 to cover her medical bills and charter a flight home.
Bryony Duthie, 18, from Dundee, who suffers from a rare chronic kidney condition, was brought to Edinburgh from Malaga in a coma on Wednesday evening on a chartered £33,000 IAS Medical air ambulance flight, accompanied by her mother Stephanie and medical staff.
Her mother said Bryony had a “stable first night” back in the UK but doctors at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee were having to “start from scratch” to understand what is wrong.
Ms Duthie, 37, said: “Yesterday was hard going mentally for me – it was really draining. Every beep of the machine, my heart was through the roof.
“I’m absolutely in bits – my nerves are shot to pieces.”
Bryony was admitted to the Vithas Xanit International Hospital Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol on 16 July, where a CT scan revealed she had pneumonia and she was placed in a coma.
She spent 10 days in the private hospital, where doctors tried several times to bring her out of the coma, but to no avail.
Now back in Scotland, Ms Duthie is seeking answers.
“This is now where the real problem starts,” she said.
“We just don’t know what neurologically she’s going to be like. It’s not like she’s had pneumonia and now it’s going to be fine. This is going to be a long road.”
One of the family’s main concerns is whether Bryony will have any long-term symptoms or has suffered brain damage.
“It’s just going to be mental torture,” Ms Duthie said.
“People keep saying take it an hour at a time, but that’s easier said than done when you’re the parent. I’m looking ahead to the quality of her life.”
But they will not have answers until doctors have carried out further tests, which will take several days, if not weeks.
“They don’t really know what’s going on and have told us to be patient and let them work,” she said.
“The doctors are basically starting from scratch with tests. She’s back with the people who have dealt with her in the past.
“They need to do loads of investigations and an MRI scan, but that won’t be until next week.”
Bryony’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help with her medical bills and the cost of her flight home, which has raised more than £84,000.
“I’m so glad to be home and the staff here have been so welcoming,” her mother added.
“I just want to say, I can never thank everybody enough. We would ever have been able to get home without the generosity of people who donated.”