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From Motorbike to Medical Evac: Paulo’s Travel Insurance Story

Travel Team | Feb 16, 2024

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A rain-slicked road doesn’t sound like a big deal. Paulo knows differently, though. In the blink of an eye, this Seven Corners customer learned how being prepared for what seems like even the smallest moments can have a huge impact.

Here is Paulo’s story.

A Slippery Situation

Paulo is a seasoned adventurer. He’s traveled in South America, across Europe, and throughout Africa for a decade. He knows how to travel safely and be smart on the road.

When Paulo booked his trip to Tajikistan, he took all the right steps. He reserved a spot with an established tour guide and followed the necessary precautions to remain safe, yet he still found himself in a devastating situation.

Paulo was traveling by motorbike when slippery roads caused him to be thrown from the bike. He immediately knew this wasn’t an injury he could easily brush off. He could feel the bones in his hip and leg move unnaturally, causing agonizing pain.

Emergency Medical Evacuation to the Rescue

Paulo was transported to a hospital in Dushanbe where the nurses and doctors initially tried to make him as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, that was all they were able to do. Broken and dislocated bones were too near major veins and arteries, and the hospital said they didn’t have the technology or skills to confidently perform the surgery he needed.


Not only were the injuries severe, but the entire situation was complicated by language barriers and time differences, making communication with everyone involved difficult. On top of it all, the medical team eventually also refused to even touch Paulo, resulting in a lack of water, bathing, and overall care.Thankfully, Paulo had travel insurance from Seven Corners. And because his plan included 24/7 travel assistance services from Seven Corners Assist, he received additional support to get him through his ordeal.

Seven Corners communicated with the hospital and arranged for Paulo to be airlifted from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where he could receive proper care.

As soon as he arrived at the airport to be medically evacuated, the team of travel doctors and nurses noticed his severe dehydration and low blood pressure. They treated him with an IV and blood thinners to avoid blood clots en route. Finally, within five hours of arriving in Dubai, Paulo received the surgery he needed and was on his way to recovery.

The Long Road Home

Recovery was a long road for Paulo, though. He stayed in Dubai for another two weeks, first in the hospital where his health could continue to be monitored and then in a local hotel. Because his doctor had ordered him to remain horizontal for seven days, even after being released from the hospital, Seven Corners arranged and paid for his extra hotel stay.

Finally leaving Dubai was a major milestone for Paulo, but he still had far to go. With a successful post-op appointment behind him, Paulo flew to London — on yet another flight arranged by Seven Corners Assist — so he could be with family and recover for another week.

Once he was strong enough to withstand a long flight and felt confident that he would be able to sit upright for extended periods, Paulo was on his way home to the British Virgin Islands.

Travel Insurance for Tajikistan

As Paulo’s condition continued to improve, he transitioned from a wheelchair to crutches and eventually a cane. It was a long process, one that likely would not have had the positive ending it did without the help of travel insurance.


As part of his coverage, Paulo received 24/7 support from Seven Corners Assist. This included translation services with his medical team in Tajikistan. Additionally, as part of his emergency medical evacuation benefit, the Assist team coordinated all the transportation from Tajikistan to the United Arab Emirates as well as the repatriation arrangements to get him from the UAE to London and ultimately to his home in the British Virgin Islands.

Paulo’s travel insurance potentially saved him from a permanent disability or worse. “If I had stayed in Dushanbe, I’d probably still be there, not walking,” he said.

He also would have been stuck with mounds of medical bills and additional expenses. Medical evacuations alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and Paulo’s bills not only included transportation, but also a medical team to travel with him and keep him stable, emergency surgery, a week’s worth of treatment in a foreign hospital, and unplanned hotel stays while he recovered. Thankfully, travel insurance had him covered.

And Paulo’s story isn’t some strange one-off event. Merah got kidney stones in Thailand and needed travel assistance. Susie had to come home early from Scotland because of unexplained stomach pain. Complications from pneumonia during a cruise landed Ed in a Portuguese hospital, leaving his family uncertain if he’d recover.

Considering the ways travel insurance can ease the financial burden and mental stress of dealing with these types of scary situations on your own makes purchasing protection an easy decision. Find out which plan is right for you and your next trip by getting a quick quote online or by talking with one of our licensed travel insurance agents.

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