A couple from the U.K. hope to return from their Singapore with a very precious souvenir.
But, for now, a hefty medical bill has stranded them in the tiny Asian country.
Chloe Wilkinson, 30, and Patraic Walsh-Kavanaugh, 27, were on a stopover on the island while traveling home from Australia. Wilkinson suddenly went into labor 24 weeks into her pregnancy and was rushed to a local hospital
Doctors found that Wilkinson had an infection, and told her she could not make her flight home because she was already dilating.
Wilkinson’s baby boy, named Lorcan (Irish for "fierce little one"), weighed just 1.9 lbs at birth but is healthy and growing fast. The trouble is, since his birth in February the couple have been stuck with a $183,000 hospital bill.
The couple have travel insurance, but say it does not cover pregnancy. Because of Singapore’s strict laws, they can’t find work to pay off the bill.
In desperation, the couple are relying on a GoFundMe page to get themselves home, as little Lorcan waits in the NICU and they rent a small room near the hospital.
Walsh-Kavanaugh’s sister, Aoife-Lourdes Valentino, writes on the fundraising page that this is "definitely not the start to parenthood Padz and Chloe envisioned, but we can make it much easier and less frightening."
"We are on our own, a 14-hour flight away from our family and friends, and it has been a very difficult start to parenthood whilst Lorcan remains in hospital," Wilkinson told Time about their case.
The couple’s tricky situation also complicated their plans to surprise their parents with news of the pregnancy after flying back to the U.K. The secret's out now!
As of Wednesday morning, the couple have raised more than $70,000 toward their goal. Whether they raise all the money they need or not, the pair expect to spend three months in Singapore as Lorcan builds his strength - much longer than the two day stop they originally planned.