A makeshift ambulance carrying a British woman returning from life-saving surgery in Spain was searched for almost four hours on her return to the UK by Border Force.
Rachel Pighills, 36, was left on a stretcher while Border Force officials stripped down the van transporting her back to the UK. She claimed Border Force accused her and her husband of smuggling drugs.
She was held up at Plymouth for three and a half hours while a search was carried out. Border Force officials found nothing unusual.
Images taken of the search show Mrs Pighills in tears on a stretcher while connected to an oxygen tank inside a warehouse at the docks.
Her husband, Guy, 41, said the couple were “treated like criminals”.
Mrs Pighills, a mother-of-one from Worcestershire, was left at risk of being “internally decapitated” after a freak ceiling fan accident.
The couple had just moved into a new home in August 2018 when the blades hit her on the back of the head.
The impact left her with atlantoaxial instability and basilar invagination – meaning her brain was sinking into her spine.
It meant she could no longer turn her head because her spine would partially dislocate, increasing the risk of paralysis or death.