What was the inspiration behind your career choice?
By creating Rescue Nurse International, I was able to join two of the greatest loves of my life: patient care and travel. This setting provides the perfect balance of travel, caretaking and adventure. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
Medical escort, IMC Meditrans, Florida
Can you describe your caseload?
I fly approximately two to three clients a month. There are times when you have a couple of hours to get your bag packed and get to the airport. My closest destination is the state I live in (Florida); the farthest would be, you name it, India, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, all over Europe, Africa. There really isn’t a destination we don’t go to. The cases range from fractured bones to post-heart attacks, strokes, respiratory problems, etc. The clients may be in a hospital, hotel, cruise ship or home.
How do you relate to the patients?
When you arrive at your client’s bedside, you wouldn’t believe the reception you get. They will say, “Thank God you’re here. Please get me out of here.” Usually they’re on vacation and it has been interrupted, and all they want is to go home. Some flights are a few hours long; some are 20-plus hours. I recently spent 42 hours with my client due to delays. So you really get to know your client and their family in a short period of time. When I get them to their final destination, you feel like you’re friends. Hugs are exchanged and sometimes Christmas cards are sent, with huge thanks.
Medical escort, IMC Meditrans, Netherlands
What kind of cases have you been assigned?
I transport clients from war zones (Iraq and Afghanistan) and luxury holiday residences and everything in-between. I transport clients with mental and physical problems, and cardiac, pulmonary, cerebral and gastrointestinal diseases.
Any escort story you wish to share?
I had a client who was involved in an IED blast and lost both legs and his left arm. I was shocked when I saw him. He was 36 years old, a young man from Uganda. He was an incredibly optimistic guy, full of plans for the future. He sent me pictures after six months of rehab. He could walk with his prostheses, had a job and could accept his amputations.
Medical services director, National Jets Inc., Florida
What was one of your tougher experiences?
On a Caribbean island, a man there on a mission had taken some of his co-workers to a restaurant. As they were leaving, they were approached by some nasty locals who intended to rob the group. He resisted and was shot in the head. He was taken to a local hospital, where they basically left him alone to die. He didn’t. After about a week, we were called to take him home. I won’t go into the gruesome details, but this man should have expired days before we got there. We got him home, and he passed about an hour after we left. Lesson: Even when we know that an event is not survivable, never give up.
And now for something a bit lighter.
We responded to a call in the Caribbean to pick up a gentleman who had participated in a snorkel excursion with humpback whales during their birthing season. He was with a group of snorkelers when they found a pod of whales with a mother and a calf. As they were observing them, he got caught in a current that sent him speeding toward the calf. He put out his hand and drifted into the calf, touching it. The calf woke up screaming, which woke up the mama, who became very defensive. She picked up her tail and slammed it down on our friend. He was very lucky that she hit his leg and not his head. It was one of those calls where all you can do is shake your head while trying to make the patient as comfortable as possible for the long flight home.