Epileptic seizures during a cruise: He was forced to pay his exorbitant bill before being evacuated despite an emergency

Epileptic seizures during a cruise: He was forced to pay his exorbitant bill before being evacuated despite an emergency

A Michigan man allegedly had three epileptic seizures on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and the company forced him to drain his bank account so he could be taken to a medical center.

“Are we being held hostage at this point? If he has three seizures in 10 hours, it's going to be a problem,” his fiancée, Sarah Eberlein, told NPR on Tuesday.

In December 2022, Vincent Wasney reportedly had three epileptic seizures within a few hours, while traveling with his partner on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Independence of the Seas.

After the first convulsions, he would receive anticonvulsants and an IV, before being placed under medical observation and finally returning to his cabin. Then he suffered a second attack during which he stopped breathing.

While he was at the medical center, the third seizure began, in the stage described as “grand mal epilepsy,” which generally causes loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions, according to American media.

But if the ship had been close enough to evacuate to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the company would have required the couple to pay their entire bill on board, including drinks consumed and on-board services, which amounted to $277.70, but also the unforeseen. An amount of 2500 US dollars for medical treatment.

The problem, he said, was that the couple didn't have enough money in their account to cover the amount, after the real estate agent offered them a cruise when they bought their home, and provided the invoices to NPR.

The inexperienced traveler said that the American was also not covered by travel insurance, as he believed that this type of insurance would only cover the loss of luggage and flight cancellation.

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And even if they drained their last savings to pay their bills that month, he would still have to pay $1,052.92, which is the amount the company was going to charge the credit card to max out, after they nonetheless said they could work things out after they drained their last savings to pay Their bills for that month. He was released from the hospital.

The couple reportedly returned home with several thousand dollars in debt, which they still carry today, along with other medical bills that have since been added to treat their condition, according to an update to the GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign.

According to Joe Scott, chairman of the cruise ship medicine section at the American College of Emergency Physicians, billing practices may vary between companies, but it is normal to be paid before the ship departs.

He recommended that those considering a cruise vacation purchase travel insurance that specifically covers their trips “to facilitate reimbursement” and “potentially cover costly medical evacuation if necessary,” he told NPR.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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