My husband and I were in Aruba in April, 2011 for what was supposed to be a wonderful two weeks. We did have a wonderful first week but on the Friday night before we began the second week my husband suddenly had a violent pain in the abdomen. We were at a restaurant and they immediately called an ambulance. They admitted him to the hospital with what we at first thought was pancreatitis but what later turned out to be even more serious.
John's intestine had twisted; there is no explanation for something like this. It was now life or death. A surgeon spoke with me (in English as he was Dutch as most of the doctors in Aruba are) and he explained if we didn't do the surgery he would certainly die but if we did do it he could still not make it as it was very dangerous. John's blood pressure dropped so low they had to put him on life support but he came through the surgery. My son flew to Aruba to be with us, and the doctors who saved his life said he would be better off in the states as it was going to be a long haul ahead.
We called the travel insurance agent and they took over. The hospital said the arrangements to get him home were up to us but the insurance agent called the nearest big hospital in Miami (we are from Chicago but it was too long a flight for John to handle) and they set up a medical evacuation. They spoke back and forth with the hospital in Aruba and the one in Miami. Two nurses, a doctor and two pilots flew to Aruba to take my husband back to Miami while on life support. My son flew with my husband in the little plane and they got a flight for me the next day as I requested. They arranged the transport from the airport to the hospital and the transfers were as smooth as one could hope.
After 10 days in Miami, the insurance again stepped up and had a male nurse fly home with us to help get my husband to a hospital in Chicago. They flew the three of us first class, had a town car waiting for us at the airport and took my husband directly to a downtown hospital.
Through all this we never got a bill or had to pay a dime!!! The med vac alone had to be over $30,000. They insure up to $100,000 for that so I knew I was safe there. They covered all his hospital bills up to $15,000. My only regret is that I took the cheaper policy so that I had to pay anything over the $15,000 in medical bills and extra expenses.
Since he had surgery there it was about $22,000 but that is still very inexpensive. The same surgery here would be triple or more. And those doctors saved his life so I am not complaining!!!
I am recommending that you take out a larger medical policy than I did just to be safe. The middle or the best policy is really worth it and that is what we have on the site. But never ever travel out of the country without insurance. Hopefully you will never have to use it but if you do you will be so grateful to have it.
I highly recommend Travel Safe and that is why I have joined up with Joyce, an insurance agent who can help you with your policy if you have questions. So much nicer to be able to speak with a live person. You can also just use the link to do the insurance online in just a few minutes so please check it out.
Also, John is doing quite well and has recovered 90%. We have been going back to Aruba at Christmas and again for Spring Break for several years now and at least we know they have a great hospital ...just in case. And of course we always take out the best policy with Travel Safe!!