The family of an Aussie cop who suffered horrific injuries after a fall on a European holiday have lashed out at her insurance company for refusing to pay her claim.
Ella Cutler, 26, nearly died after falling 10m from a clifftop in Croatian tourist hotspot Dubrovnik on August 26, fracturing her skull and spine and puncturing both lungs.
Her family have revealed they were told her insurers would not cover her hospital bills or flight back to Australia because she had too much alcohol in her system.
“We were told she had a five per cent chance of survival,” mother Nicole Cutler told 7 News.
“Then to hear the insurance company had let us down, we just went into complete and utter shock.”
“I can’t even begin to explain what that was like. I had never anticipated that the insurance wouldn’t help us to bring her home.”
Most insurance companies will cover you if you have alcohol in your system, but only up to a blood alcohol limit of around 0.19 per cent, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.
That works out to around four times the legal driving limit.
Ella had a blood-alcohol content of around 0.3 when she fell, according to local police.
RAC WA sold Ella her insurance, but a company called Tokio Marine handles and settles claims, according to 7 News.
With her insurers looking likely to refuse her claim, Ella’s family have gone public with an appeal to raise the eye-watering $500,000 it’s estimated will be needed to cover her medical and travel bills.
Her brother Josh has launched a GoFundMe to help raise the money needed to bring the “much loved daughter, sister to three brothers, devoted public servant, loving friend to many, and kind soul to everyone she meets” home.
A 34-year-old Australian man who fell along with Ella was treated for a broken leg.
Dubrovnik attracts thousands of Aussie visitors each year and is perhaps best known as a filming location for hit TV series Game of Thrones.
Writing on the GoFundMe page, Josh praised the doctors who have treated Ella in Dubrovnik for their “amazing” care but said they have “conveyed the importance of moving her to a bigger hospital with better facilities”.
“They know the best thing for her is to be home where she can feel the full impact of the love from her family, friends, and community.”
“The world doesn’t have enough Ella’s, and it needs her.”
Ella’s colleagues in the WA police force shared a touching tribute to her on social media this week.
“Ella is devoted to the community she serves. WA Police would like to thank the community for your support at this difficult time,” text over the video reads.
The video, shared on social media, finishes with a still image of Ms Cutler, and the hashtag “#BRINGELLAHOME”.