Toronto woman in coma in Croatia after fall from catamaran
Published Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:35AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:10PM EDT
A former Toronto Argos cheerleader lies comatose in a Croatian hospital, while her family and friends scramble to raise funds for her mounting medical bills.
Anna Leibenko, 24, was travelling with friends in Split, Croatia for a yacht festival on Friday when she slipped off a catamaran, suffering severe injuries to her head.
The young woman, who is a former Toronto Argonauts cheerleader and a Seneca college graduate, did not purchase travel insurance before leaving on her trip.
Her family is left on the hook for her medical bills.
Family and friends estimate that Leibenko’s bills could soon reach $100,000.
“Pretty much, the bills are adding up,” friend Julie Provo told CTV Toronto’s Pat Foran. “I believe her brother said 10 grand a day -- each day she is there. Plus, for the air ambulance, it’s around $93,000, so we’re trying to get her back here as soon as possible so that she can get free treatment.”
A website set up by Leibenko’s brother has already raised more than $40,000, using a PayPal account and the family is in the process of setting up a donation account through a bank.
Her friends say that they are hurt by comments from people who have criticized Leibenko for not purchasing medical insurance.
“She’s a daughter, she’s a sister, she a normal person, anybody could go through this, but people are kind of bashing her,” said friend Mandy Munroe.
In addition to the direct donations, family and friends have organized three pub-night events to raise money for Leibenko.
“We need as much help as possible,” said Provo. “Anything, even just $20 is good.”
With files from CTV Toronto’s Pat Foran