Skip to comments.Sickly, obese Bronx woman dies in Hungary after airlines say she's too fat to fly
Posted on 11/26/2012 11:23:14 AM PST by billorites
A sickly, obese Bronx woman was left stranded in Hungary then died from kidney failure after airline officials booted her from three New York-bound flights because she was too fat, her husband says.
All we wanted was to come back home to get her treatment, said a grieving Janos Soltesz, a Staten Island Ferry security guard whose 56-year-old wife, Vilma, died in Hungary nine days after she was kicked off the first of three jets.
Vilma, who weighed about 425 pounds, had only one leg and used a wheelchair. She traveled with her husband of 33 years to Hungary on Delta and KLM airlines on Sept. 17.
They spent several relaxing weeks at a vacation home they owned in the Hungarian countryside. It was a trip they took almost every year.
Before the journey, their travel agent informed Delta of Vilmas condition and bought two tickets for her and one for Janos.
They planned to come home Oct. 15 so Vilma could resume treatment with the doctors she had been seeing for years.
But the couple, both natives of Hungary, were told Vilma couldnt be accommodated by KLM after they boarded the jet home, Janos said.
They tried to fit her into the back of the plane, but they didnt have an extension to secure her, Janos, 56, said.
Her illness, a combination of kidney disease and diabetes, caused her to gain water weight, and the airline said it didnt have a seat-belt extender for her, Janos said.
He was also told the seat back couldnt handle his wifes weight.
It appeared on the passengers return that it was not physically possible for her to board the aircraft, despite every effort made by KLM to this end. A seat or belt extender did not offer a solution, either, said KLM
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
She’s not Hungary any more.
Wonder how much she would have weighed with both legs. 500 easy.
This is sad, but why is someone as sickly as she is reported to be traveling around Europe? Sounds to me like she would have been better served staying closed to home.
How did they fly her there in the first place?
I’ve seen bigger ones than that strapped in. And she did buy 2 seats.
‘Twould seem that this might have been something the USAF may have had the ability to help with...bring the poor woman home on one of their special medical transport planes.
I’m sorry to read this.
No citizen should be locked out of their own country.
This is a very sad story.
God rest her soul.
They have doctors and hospitals in Hungary, she spoke Hungarian, and she had basic kidney failure, which is not that exotic. But she refused to go for treatment to local doctors there even though she had difficulties getting back to the US.
She had options, and this is just hubby trying to make a buck.
Sad. but sickly obese people have huge targets on them anyway under Obamacare. Better get used to a N. Korean diet soon.
I'm wondering how cooperative the patient was? I'm guessing since they scheduled three flights she was pretty much intent on getting home.
A human being has just died. Try to show some decent respect — even if you have to fake it.
They bought 3 seats for her...and the flight attendants couldn’t get her out of the wheelchair and into the seats, even with the assistance of the local fire department. The airlines did the best they could do and offered them another route (she wasn’t in critical condition), but her husband decided to stop trying. He also said that she refused to go to the Hungarian hospital, although they were Hungarians, she spoke the language, and she didn’t have anything particularly unusual (diabetic kidney failure). So she could have gotten help there, or they could have pursued some of the other options.
I think he’s covering for himself, personally. Why didn’t he call an ambulance and have them take her to the hospital if she needed dialysis? They can do that in Hungary too.
And why didn’t he make a new set of arrangements to get her back home? She could probably have flown on a stretcher or have been transported like any seriously ill person (that is, not in a passenger seat). But he appears never to have tried that.
I thought European health care was the model we are striving for. I thought it was free. Why did this woman die when superior healthcare was so available
Was she denied care ?
In the end....the lack of a seat-belt was the least of her health concerns so why waste any time with it ???
Her illness, a combination of kidney disease and diabetes, caused her to gain water weight,
ROTFLMAO.....I find that so funny. I wonder if she gained 300 pounds of water weight....poor woman.....Some stories are too dang funny.
RTFA - She opted NOT to get treatment in Hungary.
Let's cure a misconception: We may have free Obamaphones but the U.S. Government is not responsible for repatriating U.S. citizens. The government is certainly not paying the costs. Otherwise any American who wanted to travel overseas could just buy a one-way ticket to anywhere and fly home free.
Why did this woman die when superior healthcare was so available
Because she was careless and didn’t go to the hospital because she wanted to go home. It is free and she would have gotten decent care (enough to be kept alive at least), but this woman is irresponsible in not only her eating habits but obviously with using common sense.
Everytime I see this I have to laugh. We they Bushphones in early 2000’s? It does have a better ring with Obamaphones then Bushphones. Both presidents had the program and in fact, it was President Bush who began the program. Shouldn’t surprise anyone since he started the drug program, No child left behind and Homeland Security...big government the both of them.
“She had options, and this is just hubby trying to make a buck.”
I tend to agree. An “extension cord” is nothing more than another seat belt that’s attached to the existing seat belt. It’s not a special gadget.
Money talks. The airline probably sold her a roundtrip ticket in the US and reneged on the return trip.
The USAF could have used a C-17 or even a C-130.
Hungary’s government health service was not able to keep her alive.
Sounds to me like the widower has good grounds for a lawsuit. 425 pound divided by two = 212.5 pounds or roughly the average weight of a middle aged adult. The airline not only breached a clear contract, but contributed to the woman's death by their refusal to fly her after she had followed guidelines and bought two tickets.
It wasn't some fatty trying to waltz into the aisle seat and hang her butt over the center at the last minute. It was a disabled person request which the airline was obliged to accommodate by being informed of the condition and selling the ticket.
Are you saying Socialized Medicine is worse than US medicine?
But it’s FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
If she was okay to board the plane tp Hungary, she should probably be okay to come back.
Just a thought.
The airline didn't refuse to fly her. It appears they exhausted reasonable efforts and suggested an alternative which the husband refused.
Nice post. Seriously. You got class!
I guess for the slow kids I have to add the sarcasm tag
My mother just told me about this story. She took away from it that the Hungarian health care system failed her.
I looked into medical transport when my brother took ill in NYC while on vacation. We wanted to fly him back to KC. It would have cost around $8-10,000. We would have considered it but he was on a vent and they wouldn’t take him unless he was on a trake. He died before they could make that change. Then, they inquired into flying his body back. That would have cost $8K. Ended up cremating him.
I’m on my iPhone. Can you please post Monty Pythons Bungarian phrase book photo “My hover craft is full of eels!” ? Thanks!
I’m very surprised you think this is funny. You’re usually more sensitive than this. She was a fellow human being.
The seat belt and/or extender was for the airline’s legal benefit, to protect them from liability in case she was injured.
I wish you had kept him in NYC! We still have great, great medical services. So sorry for your loss.
she was smaller and was able to board. Her kidneys started failing and her water gain bloated her body.
There is nothing really funny about this case, it is just a tragedy. She did what she was supposed to do. She bought two tickets. I am surprised they airline did not just bolt down her seat to not recline. (have seen that with other obese passengers on airplanes)
The fuzzy part of the article is whether she was too big for the door.
think hospital from the 1950’s with a dash, and only a dash, of modern meds.
Oh, we kept him in NY. Great hospital. He was in ICU at Presbyterian/Weill Cornell... one of the best in the world. He died there. He was too far advanced in his pulmonary disease. We just wanted him home. We have good hospitals here too.
So very sorry for your loss. Of course, there are great hospitals throughout the USA (until next year, maybe). Bless him.
Probably, I remember in NYC a woman got sick in a walk-up apartment. She was 525lbs and could not fit thru the apartmant doors. The fire dept had to remove a window and frame and use a crane to get her out.
Im very surprised you think this is funny. Youre usually more sensitive than this. She was a fellow human being.
True. I apologize. I don’t think it is funny she passed away but I think the author was being snarky in the way he authored the article.
The airline didn’t renege. They were willing to fly her back, but unable to, due to her condition. You can’t hold them responsible if she was the one unable to fly.
If you look at photos of her you can tell it is not simple obesity. Look at her thighs ... they look almost normal. Her belly is swelled up.
I feel sorry for her.
Months passed between the flights - she increased in size while on vacation. Why didn't they try FedEx?
“A human being has just died. Try to show some decent respect even if you have to fake it.”
More photos here. I can see why it was so difficult to seat her even if she did have two seats. I can’t imagine how she would have fit between her row and the one in front of her.
Gotcha, Naps. I didn’t read the original article.