- By Jordan Davies & Catriona Aitken
- BBC News
A two-year-old boy who is being treated in hospital in Portugal is unable to return to Wales for medical help.
Theo Jones from Maesteg, Bridgend county, has a virus attacking his brain but cannot be flown to hospital in Cardiff because of insurance company delays, his parents have said.
They are now concerned his condition will deteriorate and he will never be able to travel home.
AXA Partners insurance company said it was preparing for Theo’s repatriation.
Theo became unwell on 13 September, during a family holiday to Portugal, and was taken to Faro Hospital by ambulance two days later.
His parents were initially told he had a stomach flu, but an MRI scan revealed he had a problem with his cerebellum, a part of the brain.
His mother, Sarah Jones, said: “Our beautiful chatty, active boy has lost the ability to speak, sit, walk.”
She added that doctors told her they believed a virus was attacking Theo’s brain.
Sarah said she had been in contact with University Hospital Wales in Cardiff, which accepted a transfer for Theo.
Doctors told Theo’s parents that he could travel, but it would need to be by medical plane.
“We now just need to get him there,” she said.
Sarah is in Portugal with her husband and five-month-old daughter and they are due to have to leave their accommodation at the beginning of October.
She said their insurance company said Theo was a priority case, but had failed to update the family since receiving a medical report on Tuesday.
Sarah said she had to resort to getting her taxi driver to translate some of the documents because the company said they did not have a translator available.
She said she has now been told that AXA wants to wait two more days to see if Theo’s condition improves.
But she could not understand the logic in waiting for him to deteriorate, when he has been approved to travel in his current stable condition.
“I can’t speak to the people making these decisions. They’re an elusive entity within AXA that no-one seems to be able to penetrate and get access to,” she said.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s not that we haven’t got the cover, they’ve accepted responsibility. They’re just sitting on their hands now.”
AXA Partners said it was sorry Theo was ill and that it sympathised with the family.
A spokesman said: “Our priority is to ensure the family can return to the UK at the appropriate time, and we are working with the treating facility to ensure their son receives the level of care required.
“At this time, medical professionals are monitoring his condition and we are preparing for the repatriation to the UK.”
It said it was in regular contact with Mrs Jones and that the family was being supported by a dedicated team.