Passenger Evacuated from Carnival Cruise Ship for Emergency Surgery

By ,   January 10, 2019 ,   Accidents

The family of a cruise passenger evacuated to a private for-profit Mexican hospital during a medical emergency were stunned when his urgent treatment was stopped after they couldn't immediately prove they had the thousands asked for the surgery.

The 22-year-old college student from Little Rock, Arkansas, Chase Kehler, was diagnosed by cruise doctors as suffering from acute appendicitis which, in the case left untreated, could be life-threatening.

Just a day before he had set sail from New Orleans (Saturday, January 5) on a Mexican cruise vacation with his family aboard Carnival Triumph.

Carnival Sunrise cruise ship

The Mexican coast guard evacuated the patient to Amerimed private hospital (Cancun) where the family said admission cost US$6,000 and surgery came with a US$25,000 price tag. Carnival Triumph's doctor had made the arrangements.

Chase's mom, Janie Kehler, said that when they did not have the US$25,000 the hospital stopped all of Chase's treatment. Writing on her FB page, the mother revealed they had then been “forcibly sent” to the nearby general hospital “in a very dangerous area, with limited services and severe lack of staff” because at 2:00 a.m. they had been unable to front the money immediately as a “guarantee.”

Following one hour waiting “in a filthy hallway in a too-small gown” not being checked, Kehler decided to take action as her son was by now too ill to fly back and seek treatment at home.

The mother stopped a passing paramedic in the corridor, who raced Chase for free in an ambulance to the private medical facility Hospital Victoria, where he had surgery within the hour. The hospital only asked for a US$6,000 deposit. Janie Kehler said she hadn't purchased travel insurance for the trip.

For other Carnival Triumph accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.