Lost baggage leaves Bristol woman without diabetes kit for two weeks

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 19 Mar 2018
Lost baggage leaves Bristol woman without diabetes kit for two weeks
A woman with diabetes was left without her blood glucose kit for two weeks because an airline lost her luggage.

Cheryl Wallen, 57, who lives in Bristol, had flown out to Banjul in Gambia in September last year to visit family and friends with budget carrier Vueling.

She arrived in Banjul to discover her luggage had been lost, with the airline eventually offering to fly it out to Mrs Wallen the day before she was due to fly home.

Mrs Wallen told the Bristol Post: "Two weeks I was there and it hadn’t turned up. We couldn’t get in touched with Vueling staff. Vueling didn't even respond to the airport. I called England and asked my son to contact Vueling."

Once the company had located the luggage, which included a blood glucose testing meter and strips, it was too late to send it out to her, so her son told them to send it to his mum's home.

Mrs Wallen, who is a support worker and student nurse, said she was unable to check her blood glucose levels for the two weeks she was in Gambia. It is not clear which type of diabetes Mrs Wallen has.

After returning home, Mrs Wallen has made numerous complaints to Vueling but has not yet received any response.

Editor's note: It is unfortunately always a risk that an airline will lose your luggage, so for people with diabetes, particularly those who are susceptible to low blood sugar, it is recommended to take a separate blood glucose kit, plus extra medication, and keep these in your hand luggage.

People with diabetes who may be short of medication or blood glucose testing supplies in a different country should seek advice from a nearby pharmacy, which should be able to provide a replacement meter and/or test strips, or alternatively get in touch with that country's diabetes association.
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