to the bolded:
She obviously had major kidney failure, she wasn't getting dialysis there (i'm pretty sure she was getting it back stateside from the sounds of it)....there was no way for the extra water weight to get out of her body. I'm guessing she gained ALOT.
It doesn't make alot of sense to travel knowing you're that sick, and not getting medical treatment along with being out of country that long.
Now, if they had let her fly without the extender and something happened, you know damn well that everyone would be up in arms for letting her fly and the airline would have been 100% liable. You have to consider there liabilty.
I wouldn't blame the airlines for her death. People are aware that flying is not completely reliable. Delays, cancellations, and issues come up all-the-time. ETA: her added weight gain before trying to return to the States must have been the added factor. Probably the seat back had a problem because of trying to hold so much weight against it. She knew she had diabetes and kidney disease before leaving. There is just so much...no the airlines are not at fault.
Her health was already bad. She was morbidly obese. I am positive some doctor must have told her that her health is at extreme risk. She must have been aware of what can happen to the body being 'that' obese. I think personally they knew these things and they risked it because she probably wanted to see her home country, family, etc again. She probably felt like her condition wasn't really going to improve, maybe hoping it would, but if it didn't then she got to see her home, family, friends, etc one last time before she either couldn't fly again or perhaps died.
If a person is that ill, no matter where they are in the world, I believe they will seek out some sort of care. I googled and there are American board certified physicians in her area. If she was still a citizen she could have gotten seen for free even. No one cares that they have a lengthy med history to give if they are about to die. Reports can be faxed or scanned and emailed. But regardless of her medical history, she had a very bad issue - kidney failure. So that would have been treated even not knowing the lengthy history. Now the issue is that when kidney failure is that bad a person needs dialysis or a kidney transplant, then traveling will be come difficult! Nevertheless, there are decent dialysis centers to help her. Budapest isn't that bad, in fact expats (from googling recommendations on healthcare) even seem quite happy with healthcare there!!
She could have sought medical evacuation and a list of centers is on the embassy website (on her own dime or health insurance - some are accepted). I mean she paid for THREE airline tickets, not so cheap. So I assume she could afford a little bit more for this emergency.
So what I would have done is tried to get emergency renal treatment with dialysis and arranged for medical evacuation. These special planes probably even can arrange for dialysis while ON the plane back home! These machines are portable.
Bottom line for me is that I think they knew. It's sad..really. I feel sad for people. But milking the airline for their OWN misjudgment is inappropriate. Everyone knows life doesn't go as expected, thousands of miles away from home, when they should have stayed home and worked on bettering her life. Instead it cost hers. When you go overseas, everyone knows life does not go as expected. This suit needs to be dropped and cope with the loss. Accepting their own blame is probably tough. But getting benefit from airline is just far from appropriate.
Again, I feel it is soooo extremely sad. Loss of life is really hard. But, it's not fair to blame the airlines.