Natalie Creane, the British tourist who suffered a severe brain injury after a wooden panel fell on her head in a five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi, will have her first appeal hearing on April 17.
The 34-year old was put in her sixth medically induced coma this month to protect her from the severe injuries she has suffered since the accident in 2008, according to a Facebook page set up by her family.
Emirates Palace Hotel, Kempinski Hotels and Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) were ordered to pay AED200,000 (US$54,450) to Creane in February after she was hit on the head with a loose wooden panel when she opened a wardrobe door in her hotel room in July, 2008.
Creane’s family has argued that the compensation is insufficient. They say she urgently needs specialist neurological treatment that is only available at a centre specialising in traumatic brain injuries, which costs “hundreds of thousands of dollars”, as well as ongoing surgery and cognitive therapy.
A ‘Justice for Natalie’ Facebook page, which was set up by her family in 2012 and has nearly 30,000 supporters, says Creane was found unconscious by a hotel member but rather than call for an ambulance, the hotel’s duty manager drove her to a nearby hospital.
“With no prior history of such problems, she began to suffer from horrendous seizures and was suffering from the horrendous effects of a major concussion and was, therefore, incapacitated for months and months,” the page says.
Creane has since been diagnosed with post traumatic intractable refractory epilepsy and traumatic brain injury and suffers regular seizures that cause her to suddenly collapse, often causing further injuries including broken bones and fractures, her family has said.