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Don't travel without insurance: A cautionary tale

Heart Attack In Vietnam

Heart Attack In Vietnam

Robert Hearn is the owner of You Can't Steal My Happy, known for planning life-changing small group travel trips. In 2017 on one of his trips, one of his customers had a heart attack while visiting Vietnam. The following is his account of how he was able to help his customer return to Bangkok to stabilize his health before returning the ill customer to the US.

From Robert Hearn on Facebook (update here): Hello everyone. As some of you may know I have been dealing with a very sick client who suffered a major stoke on this past weeks tour of Vietnam. My client is actually completely paralyzed as a result of multiple tumors in his brain. After 3 days in Vietnamese hospital it became very apparent that he was not going to live for another 24 hours with the current care. My client had no trip insurance and to evacuate him to the nearest hospital (Bangkok) that could help him was going to cost over $20,000.

I made a call to MedAire in the US and asked them if they could ask American Airlines (Skip’s employer) if they would cover the expenses of evacuating Skip. It was a crap shoot because the airline will only pay for such an evacuation if an employee is working a trip. Skip was not on company time. Long story short AA actually agreed to cover all of the expenses of getting Skip to Bangkok via private medical plane. They even footed the bill for his Vietnam hospital care and advanced a $5,000 check for coverage of the Bangkok hospital.

The video [] documents everything that happened during the extraction process. I am beyond grateful for the professionals at MedAire and American Airlines for saving a life. I will be with Skip Murphy until his family arrives and while he cannot talk or move I will read each message to him if want to offer some encouragement.

As you can see, having travel insurance could save you not only a lot of money but even your life. Seriously: Consider getting it before heading out on a trip, and be sure to read the fine print carefully since not all plans are created equal.

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