Critically-injured B.C. woman ‘stranded’ in U.S. due to travel insurance red tape, daughter claims

Click to play video 'Injured B.C. woman stranded in U.S. due to travel insurance red tape, daughter claims' Injured B.C. woman stranded in U.S. due to travel insurance red tape, daughter claims
WATCH: The family of a Chilliwack woman is being forced to shell out thousands of dollars every day in the US as they desperately try to get her to a hospital to the Fraser Valley. – Feb 11, 2017

A critically-injured woman is back in B.C. after spending almost a month in a California bed.

Mitzy Bryson’s parents were struck by a vehicle in California last month, leaving her father dead and her mother seriously injured.

The couple had decided to escape B.C.’s winter weather by taking a road trip to Arizona to visit friends.

On Jan. 30, the couple stopped for dinner in Mojave, California and were struck by a vehicle.

According to Bryson, police in California estimated the vehicle was travelling between 65 and 70 miles an hour at the time of the collision.

Robert, a 79-year-old Canadian war veteran, died at the scene. Seventy-four-year-old Janet suffered critical injuries and was transferred to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California.

Story continues below advertisement

“My mom probably never should have survived, but she’s quite the strong woman,” Bryson said. “She’s a fighter. She’s still critical – lots and lots of broken bones.”

Following a couple of surgeries, doctors determined on Wednesday that Janet was stable enough to travel back to Canada via air ambulance.

Bryson said she was told by her mother’s insurance provider, Allianz, that her $500,000 travel insurance policy should have been enough to cover medical costs, including an air ambulance, but that they wanted to consult with a doctor in the California hospital before signing off.


On Saturday, Bryson said she still hadn’t received confirmation from the insurance company.

“The doctors here are … waiting for this phone call so they can give details of my mom’s condition to get her transferred back to Canada and they still have never received a phone call to my knowledge,” she said.

Story continues below advertisement

In the meantime, her mother is still in hospital and her health care costs have ballooned to the point that they can no longer be fully covered by her $500,000 policy, Bryson claims.

She said the insurance company said they would work with the family to reduce costs.

To complicate matters further, she said she spoke to a doctor at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, who told her they may not have a bed for her mother. But on Saturday afternoon Bryson said a bed was made available.

“I believe it is Allianz that dropped the ball,” she said. “We seem to be stranded here, nobody seems to be telling us anything.”

“We’re staying in a hotel. We check out every morning and we check back in every night because we just have no idea what’s going on and when and if my mom is going back to Canada and how much it’s going to cost us in the end.”

On Saturday, a spokesperson for Allianz told Global News that Janet will be on a flight home at 11:30 p.m.

– With files from Jill Bennett.