Tuesday, February 26, 2008

CLAIMS STORY

It’s our business to help

Imagine a simple vacation turning into a nightmare. That’s what happened to Roy (not his real name) who thought a visit to his sister in sunny Australia would give him plenty of time for surf and sand.

One day at the local beach, Roy dove into shallow water and didn’t come back up. His friends pulled him out of the water and discovered that he couldn’t move his limbs. He was airlifted to a hospital in Perth and diagnosed with a broken neck. Roy was suddenly a quadriplegic.

Roy’s brother-in-law quickly phoned TIC. Our travel assistance department contacted the hospital and received the necessary paperwork so they could guarantee coverage for Roy. Our travel assistance evening staff constantly communicated with the family members here in Canada, updating them on Roy’s condition.

His parents were the most concerned. They booked tickets to Australia to be with their son and our case manager told them that Roy’s admission to hospital was entirely covered. They wouldn’t have to worry about money and could concentrate on helping their son during this difficult time. The case manager told them about the Transportation of Family or Friend benefit and how they could claim out-of-pocket expenses.

Although the hospital in Australia thought Roy would have to stay for six weeks, his parents wanted their son back in Canada as soon as possible.

Our medical consultant remained in constant communication with the treating doctors. After two and a half weeks, our assistance team received the okay from the Australian doctors and began making arrangements to get Roy back to Canada quickly and safely.

But the family faced more problems. Roy didn’t have a family doctor, so it wasn’t easy to find a hospital to take him. Through heard work TIC managed to get him a bed in Vancouver General Hospital’s spinal unit – exactly where his parents wanted him.

Stretcher transport is no longer allowed in North America but our travel assistance team still figured out a way to get him back to Canada. He flew a stretcher trip on an airplane from Australia to Los Angeles. In LA, an air ambulance returned him back to Vancouver.

His mother has MS and she couldn’t fly back with him. Roy’s parents stayed in Australia while their son was being transported to the other side of the world. Our travel assist team stayed in constant communication with his parents, updating them on his progress.

In the end, TIC got Roy home before Christmas, just three weeks after the accident. His parents were extremely happy and grateful. In a life-changing accident like this, it makes an enormous difference when you have professionals working on the hospital details and travel arrangements. Roy and his parents had enough to worry about and we happily did everything we could to relieve some of the burden. Apply online at http://www.biis.ca

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