MedFlight911 to the Rescue: China to Los Angeles in 144 Hours
When it comes to international travel and long distance medical transports, time and advanced planning is generally required. VISA requirements can be complicated as can transportation arrangements in foreign countries. Language barriers are common and medical care varies in different countries. Recently, MedFlight911 was contacted by a family who needed help and time was a major, and limiting, factor. In fact, since airline tickets had already been purchased, we were only given 5 days warning on this long distance medical transport! Fortunately, we were able to help this family and return their loved one to the states.
On a Monday morning we were contacted about a long distance medical transport from Guangzhou, China to Los Angeles, California. The family of the patient had already purchased their airline tickets for that Saturday when the daughter decided that they needed an air medical escort for her father who has been badly injured in an automobile accident. When she called other air ambulance providers, she received both huge price quotes and concerns about the limited planning time. When she contacted MedFlight911, we were able to help. And thus began a remarkable journey.
During his trip to China, our patient was involved in a motorcycle taxi accident. When his taxi was cut off, it flipped over and the patient flew through the air and landed on his back. The only thing that saved him from serious head trauma was his laptop in his backpack. However, he did experience a C5 fracture and was left paralyzed from the chest down. After receiving a cervical fusion, he now has shrug capabilities and can swallow and breathe independently, but requires assistance for all other activities of daily living. The patient received care at a local hospital until the family's funds were depleted. With their options and finances dwindling, the family rented a hospital room where the patient's wife provided 24-hour care for him for several months. Once resources were set up in the U.S., the family needed to move the patient back home.
There was a very limited amount of time between the family's call to MedFlight911 and the date they needed medical transport, so we had to act fast! The patient did not need advanced air ambulance services; instead he needed an air medical escort to ensure safe and comfortable travel. The only obstacle was that in order to depart from a plane in China, a U.S. citizen is required to obtain a VISA 90 days prior to travel. Fortunately, MedFlight911 employs an international passport holder, which allows him 72 hours on the ground in China before a VISA is required. (Amazingly, our nurse was into and out of China in only 60 hours!)
Monday: MedFlight911 was contacted
Tuesday: We purchased the air medical escort's ticket to China
Wednesday: The nurse flew into China
Friday: The nurse arrived in China and met the family at the hospital
Saturday: The nurse flew out of China at 9:10 am and landed safely in the U.S with the patient at 9:10 am Saturday.