Nerve-wracking 13 hour non-stop flight home for Scottish trainer who nearly died while on dream holiday in Vietnam

Mekala Osborne should arrive home in Scotland at around midday tomorrow.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 2:35 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 3:41 pm
Mekala was hospitalised with pneumonia while she was on holiday (Photo: Contributed)
Mekala was hospitalised with pneumonia while she was on holiday (Photo: Contributed)

Mekala Osborne faces a marathon, non-stop flight home as she continues her recovery from life-threatening pneumonia.

The 22 year old personal trainer from Wallyford, East Lothian, was given just a five per cent chance of survival when she fell ill in September while on holiday in Vietnam.

However, after two months of difficult recovery, with almost a fortnight spent in an induced coma, Mekala is due to fly home in the early hours of tomorrow.

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A graphic showing Mekala's journey home (Photo: tifgroup)

She faces a 13 hour non-stop flight from Singapore to Manchester, leaving at 2.10am and arriving into the UK at 8.35am.

Depending on how she has coped with the flight, an advanced life support ambulance will then be ready to take her back home to Edinburgh to hospital, or a hospital in Manchester if she requires quick care.

Mekala will also have continuous oxygen while on the flight and will be accompanied by her mother Yvonne McAulay and a three-man medical team including Dr Winston Jong, the surgeon who carried out life-saving surgery in Singapore.

Paige Ware, client services adviser at travel insurers tifgroup who handled Mekala's case said the ordeal put huge stress on the 22-year-old's family, particularly when the decision was made to transfer her to Singapore from a hospital in Da Nang in Vietnam.

Mekala Osborne is on her way home (Photo: Contributed)

She said: “At the stage Mekala’s case was handed over to me, she only had a 5% chance of survival and our aviation doctor had to make the decision whether or not to fly Mekala to Singapore for emergency surgery. I had to arrange the flights for [mother and stepfather] Mr and Mrs McAuley to follow her.”

“We all knew there would be huge risks attached to this flight and it was so hard to hear that her family did not want to go over to Singapore until it was known whether Mekala landed safely. I will never understand how Mekala’s parents dealt with the unknown so well, but thankfully she came out fighting the other end.”

“I have nothing but admiration for Mekala’s family. Her mother has been so incredibly brave in dealing with such a traumatic event, and I am honestly amazed at the way her parents have handled the whole situation. Their support has undoubtedly helped Mekala survive.”