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Medical Evacuation from Haiti

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Medical Evacuation from Haiti

Most of us are aware of the devastating Haiti earthquake of January 2010. Now, six years and several deadly storms later—including the most recent Hurricane Matthew—the country is still in desperate need of humanitarian, financial and rebuilding aid. But even prior to the earthquake, this impoverished island nation was a popular destination for the humanitarian and church organizations we at Insurance Services of America regularly insure.

One such organization, Bettendorf Christian Church in Iowa, sent a small group of women to Haiti on a mission trip. Not long after their arrival, the earthquake rocked the country and badly injured one of the church’s volunteers. Peggy Wilson suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs when an 8-foot wall fell on her.

“It seems like a blur—a bad dream. I’d never been in an earthquake before, and I never want to be in one again,” Wilson would later report.

Thankfully, a firefighter from Ohio who was also on a mission trip at the time, found and rescued Wilson from under the rubble. For three days she was immobilized in a remote and heavily damaged part of Haiti; a ground ambulance simply wasn’t able to reach her. Meanwhile, a medical director from Seven Corners, Inc. (SCI), the company we used to insure the church’s trip, arrived on the scene and coordinated efforts between FEMA and Genesis Health System for her evacuation via Navy helicopter.

Though Wilson admits she is afraid of heights, she was glad to be airlifted to help. “Once I came off the ground, a peace came over me, and I was gone.”

The Navy crew and a surgical nurse from Genesis Health System, under the guidance of the SCI medical director, treated Wilson onboard the ship before transporting her to Port-au-Prince. Once in the capital, SCI also coordinated a return flight back to the US. Eight days after the earthquake, Wilson was reunited with her family in Iowa and received follow-up care, the cost of which was covered by her SCI insurance plan.

Despite her harrowing experience, Wilson hopes to return one day to Haiti. “I need to go back,” she told a local news outlet. “There are a lot of people hurting down there.”

Insurance Services of America is proud to help brave people like Wilson by providing insurance plans which contain many valuable international benefits such as Emergency Medical Evacuation.

If you are planning an upcoming trip to provide relief for the victims of Hurricane Matthew, or any other volunteer trip abroad, please use our Chat feature or call (800) 647-4589 for fast access to a knowledgeable Client Advisor. He or she will provide a free quote for group travel medical insurance or for individuals traveling abroad.

Read more about Peggy Wilson’s evacuation from Haiti.

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