Travel Team | Oct 10, 2023
Emergency medical evacuations aren’t the most common type of travel assistance we provide, but they aren’t that unusual, either. And if you’re the person who needs to find medical care in another country – and you need to find it quickly – having travel insurance and a team from Seven Corners to cover you can literally be a lifesaver.
Felipe was traveling abroad with his partner, Daniel, in Southeast Asia when he became extremely ill. Here’s his story.
What started out as a multi-month trip that included stops in Thailand and Myanmar turned into a race to get Felipe vital medical treatment.
“We had our New Years on Ngwesaung, which is in the beach area of Myanmar,” said Felipe. “We were coming back to Yangon, (Myanmar), and I started to feel a little sick with a little food poisoning and stomach pain.”
The pain became more severe over the course of the next day, which is what made the couple think that they were dealing with something more serious than a simple case of food poisoning. Felipe went to a clinic in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, but the clinic wanted to transfer him to another hospital.
“They thought maybe he needed surgery, so it got pretty scary pretty fast,” said Daniel. “When we found out that they didn’t have a surgeon on hand – they didn’t even have a radiologist there who could read the CT scan results, and they were transferring us to another hospital – I knew the level of care was not going to be sufficient enough to make sure he would be okay.”
Felipe lost consciousness in the hospital, meaning it was up to Daniel to make the medical decisions. That’s when Daniel got in touch with Seven Corners.
“I got on the phone with Seven Corners right away and was immediately put in touch with the emergency travel assist team,” recalled Daniel. “It was just very reassuring to speak to someone on the other end of the phone, knowing that we would get the help that we needed in a scary medical situation.”
Daniel worked directly with a member of Seven Corners Assist, a multilingual team on call around the clock to support travelers in emergency situations. She organized Felipe’s medical evacuation from Myanmar to a hospital in Thailand nearly 600 miles away.
“Within 18 hours, we were on a private ambulance being flown to Bangkok,” said Daniel.
Thankfully, Felipe ended up not needing surgery, but he wasn’t in the clear just yet. Diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis as a result of a bacteria, he spent more than a week in the hospital recovering.
“We are super lucky and super grateful of the support we got from Seven Corners,” said Daniel. “We never handed over a single credit card or made any payments. It was all arranged for us by Seven Corners, and the medical bills for something like an emergency international evacuation are extremely high. So, to know that we had that level of support was pretty amazing and reassuring.”
Felipe and Daniel returned to their home in Canada where, now that Felipe has healed, they’re eagerly planning their next trip.
Even if your domestic health insurance provides some coverage for an illness while traveling internationally, it’s uncommon for that coverage to include emergency medical evacuations. Before going abroad, find the right travel insurance to protect your health and cover medical expenses if you get sick or hurt during your trip.