Author's headshot
Cathy Lizak
Customer Service Representative
May 11 2020

Your crew saved my husband's life

Our patients' wife shares the story of their medevac journey.

How does one go about thanking the people who literally saved my husband's life? Words do not seem enough. Our nightmare began with my husband’s heart attack in Cancun, Mexico. Ambulance, ER, ICU and 2 procedures later, he was left intubated and sedated. The hospital maxed two credit cards because all payments were required up front and we were at five days now in the hospital. My 2 daughters joined me in Cancun, but I was blessed to have 2 sons-in-laws at home that were diligently researching on how to get their father-in-law home.

Clif was the coordinator for all logistics. Once I heard of this option, a sense of relief immediately came over me. My son-in-law back home did all of the coordination with Cliff. The company made it very easy for my kids to use their credit cards; the company put a hold on their cards but did not run them. I was able to wire the money later. All logistics- transport team informed of medical situation ahead of time, schedule of aircraft, extra car for me and my daughter to airport (and to hospital back home), communication with hospital and doctors back home, ambulance waiting back home for transport to hospital, communication with family during flight- were taken care of. No detail was overlooked. I cannot stress enough how professional and detailed this company was at handling everything.

I wish I could say we had a non-eventful transfer and flight home, but that was not the case. Once we arrived at the airport, my husband experienced a flash pulmonary edema. Courtney and Pat, the med-evac team, worked tirelessly for 2 hours trying to stabilize my husband. It was the longest 2 hours of my life. Courtney manually ventilated him most of that time. She took short breaks handing it over to the Mexican paramedic. Her attitude and demeanor was uncompromised. She was always upbeat and gave me encouragement often. I remember her saying to me, “This man is only 59 years old, we’re not losing him today!” Pat diligently worked to adjust the ventilator and add more sedation meds, as he was trying to wake up. Pat consulted with 2 separate doctors via phone throughout the ordeal. I watched helplessly as he moved quickly back and forth between the plane and ambulance gathering more and more supplies and medicine to help my husband.

During this nightmare on the tarmac, the flight crew, John and Cameron did everything they could to keep me and my daughter calm. While John, the pilot, was realistic with us sharing his concern about flying over the Gulf of Mexico (45 min without a place to land), he also tried to think outside the box for ideas about safely flying at a lower altitude. During this 2 hour period, we talked, prayed and shared stories/pictures about my husband, all the while Pat and Courtney were working to save his life. I appreciate everything John and Cameron did that day as well.

Soon it became clear that Pat was running out of medicine and now would not have enough to make it home on the 3.5 hour flight. We would have to return to the hospital to stabilize overnight. My heart sank. My first thought was that the airplane would leave and we would have to start over again. John immediately quieted my nerves by saying, “We’re not going anywhere. We are getting this man home!” You have no idea what that meant to me at that moment.

Yes, we had to spend one more night in Mexico which was like spending another night in hell, but I’m happy to say everything went as planned the next morning. The transfer from MX hospital, ride to airport, transfer to plane, airplane ride home and transfer to home hospital all went smoothly, albeit a nail biting day. My husband spent another 9 days in a Kansas City hospital recovering from this ordeal. I owe his life to the crew from Global Air Ambulance. This crew, Pat, Courtney, John and Cameron are special people. They are dedicated, hard-working and committed. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your diligence and resolve in getting my husband home. We are eternally grateful to you all.

Mary, Kansas City, MO March, 2020

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