For months, Melbourne man Vincent Louie has been battling for a certain level of treatment from UK healthcare workers for his wife, Anna, after she she suffered a horror brain injury that caused her to collapse lifeless in his arms.
Ms Louie, 34, resides in a care home in London after the removal of a benign throat tumour in 2014 led to years of complications.
Mr Louie, 35, has spent almost a year of 16-hour days juggling full-time work with constant clashes with National Health Service (NHS) practitioners, who he says has neglected Mrs Louie's treatment and put her in a "too hard basket".
"It's not because she's not improving, it's because the progress is so slow that it doesn't warrant her staying in the rehab unit and the NHS is stretched for resources," he told 9News.com.au.
"She used to have about 20 hours of therapy a week. Here she's barely getting three hours a week.
"Everyone knows that Anna is a fighter. That even if she's in pain she'll push through the therapy sessions because that's her only window of opportunity."
The UK's NHS is a publicly-funded healthcare focused on providing comprehensive, universal and free services to residents.
Under a reciprocal healthcare agreement Australia has with the UK, Australians living in the country can also access free services for immediate medical treatment.
In recent years, the NHS has faced an uncertain future amid large financial pressures, hundreds of jobs cuts and the threat of privatisation despite a £20.5bn funding pledge provided by the UK Government until 2023/24.
Vincent and Anna first moved to the UK at the end of 2013 after they made a snap "dream decision" to chase their desires for international career experience and travel.
In that year, the NHS had already said it was facing a £30bn funding deficit.
Despite the initial difficulties of moving across the world, Mr Louie said the change gave them both the chance to build a new life for themselves.
However, on April 17 last year, that dream was shattered in a moment he described as "the worst of my life".
"Anna had vomited, leading to an airway obstruction. I still remember her face as she was struggling to breath for a good seven to eight minutes until her heart stopped in front of my eyes and she collapsed lifeless in my arms," he wrote on a crowdfunding site last week.
"As the paramedics rushed in, our flat was turned into a battle zone with blood on the floor and medical supplies everywhere."
After a 10-month struggle, multiple surgeries and a lengthy coma, Mrs Louie has regained consciousness but breathes with the help of a tracheostomy tube and is still unable to see or speak.
That improvement in her condition has still not been enough to satisfy NHS staff at the University College London Hospital (UCLH) - where she was first admitted - who Mr Louie says have previously told him to not "have hope anymore".
He also said he was later told by staff at the Northwick Park Rehabilitations Unit that his wife was initially to be put on a 'do not resuscitate' list.
"(Rehabilitation staff) admitted that they hadn't actually looked at Anna's brain scans before. She was only admitted there within a week," he said.
"I was so angry and frustrated, I spoke to another consultant who said, 'how dare they make that decision on no factual information?' That was the start of the continuous battle I was having.
"It's been extremely difficult. I don't wish this experience upon anyone. No one should ever have to go through what Anna and I have gone through."
The couple now want to return to Australia to be around family and access a better quality of medical treatment at home, and created a crowdfunding campaign that has already amassed more than AUD$87,000 in donations, passing their initial goal of $80,000.
"I see Anna and I see that she's trapped in a body. There's so much that she wants to do and that's what's been hard," Mr Louie said.
"(Going home is) one of the most important things at the moment because being surrounded by family and close friends will make a huge difference.
"I'm advocating for her because I feel that (NHS doctors) aren't fulfilling their responsibilities as a rehabilitation unit."
Mr Louie has offered his thanks to supporters of the crowdfunding campaign and said the couple's goal is for Ms Louie – who is an impassioned food-lover – to be able to regain her strength enough to eat and taste properly and to say the words "I love you".
"For her be able to eat and taste something, I think that would just give her a sense of normality that she so desperately seeks," he said.
"There isn't enough 'thank you's, no matter how many times I say (it) to everyone - the response has been overwhelming, it's been very emotional.
"With everyone's kind generosity, it's given hope for both Anna and I that we can still go back home and continue our dreams… for Anna to enjoy the simple things."
In a response to a request for comment Simon Crawford, the Deputy Chief Executive of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust - which oversees the rehabilitation center Anna first attended - said: "We know how difficult a time this must have been for Anna and Vincent, and wish them the very best for the future.
"They are welcome to contact us to discuss any concerns they have about Anna's care, so that we can look into them further."
A spokesperson for the UCLH also said: "We are sorry to hear that Mr Louie was upset by the conversation he had with our staff but we understand he was being given very difficult news at the time.
"We would like to hear from him directly so we can review the case and respond to his concerns."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-family-london-uk-brain-injury-nhs-concerns-tumour-crowdfunding-news/304b8157-6cdb-48c2-b6a5-7fb00eb9427a