The family of an Australian woman clinging to life in a Croatian hospital after she plunged 10 metres from a tourist hotspot are desperately trying to raise funds to bring her home.
Western Australian policewoman Ella Cutler, 25, was holidaying with a male companion when the duo fell from a fortress wall in Piles, Dubrovnik, late last month. The spot, near Fort Lovrijenac, was made famous around the world as one of the main filming locations for TV show Game of Thrones.
The pair were rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, where Ms Cutler was treated for multiple fractures of her "skull, spine, several limbs and 12 ribs". Reports suggest the duo may have been kissing and lost their footing at the time of the fall.
Ms Cutler was placed into an induced coma at Dubrovnik General Hospital where she remains, though local doctors have advised Ms Cutler's family of "the importance of moving her to a bigger hospital" with "better facilities to receive specialised care "vital for further recovery".
Medical bills set to blow out to almost half a million dollars
It's understood the public servant's medical expenses — which have so far surpassed $100,000 and are expected to exceed $400,000 — are not covered by insurance due to the fact she was intoxicated at the time of the fall. The man who fell alongside Ms Cutler was treated locally and has since stabilised.
The officer's devastated family have now made an urgent plea to the public for help in raising much-needed medical funds to bring Ms Cutler home and to put towards "many more months of care, multiple surgeries, and months of physical rehabilitation" she will need.
'Ms Cutler's brother Josh described his sibling on a fundraising page as a "much-loved daughter, sister and devoted public servant".
"Ella's a loving friend to many, and a kind soul to everyone she meets, regardless of their social standing or place in the world," Mr Cutler said.
"Everyone who knows her will tell you about her calm and gentle energy, her love of furry creatures great and small, her selflessness in helping people, and her ability to make everyone she meets feel special."
'Can't imagine how scared she'd be'
Mr Cutler said "we can only imagine how scared she would be if she knew the full extent of her injuries", adding that her family "cannot even begin to convey how frightened we are for her, and how important it is for her to come home".
"She has too much living left to do, too many people to help, and too much love to give for this to be how this chapter ends," he said.
"She has a long, hard road ahead of her, and she will need all the help she can get. From doctors, family, friends, colleagues, and you. The world doesn't have enough Ellas, and it needs her."
'Long road ahead'
Mr Cutler said doctors who have looked after her since her admission to the hospital in Dubrovnik have been "amazing". 'We cannot thank them enough for their hard work keeping her alive."
He said doctors want her moved to a bigger hospital where she can receive specialised care.
"They know the best thing for her is to be home where she can feel the full impact of the love from her family, friends, and community."
A fundraising campaign to support Ms Cutler on her journey to recovery can be found here.
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