During our transit from the Philippines to Yap, I started noticing a shortness of breath that just continually got worse. By the time we reached Yap, I was struggling for breath. I visited the local government hospital and the doctor gave me some medication for congestion, and then instructed me to return in a week.
After five days I was no longer able to maintain my duties on board, so plans were made to fly me to the nearest full medical facility, the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam. Unfortunately, my condition quickly deteriorated. I had to be transferred to shore where a local hotel was used as a base of operations.
With the poor equipment available and the help of only a couple of nurses, the doctor was not optimistic of my odds. He arranged for a missionary plane to fly me to Guam - a four hour flight. Alone in an unfamiliar country on Christmas Eve, I boarded the plane, not even knowing how I would pay for this or what I was going into.
When the plane arrived I was transported to the U.S. Naval Hospital and immediately taken to the ICU. After observation, it was determined that my condition was serious and that I needed to notify my next of kin. The diagnosis grim - congestive heart failure/cardiomyopathy.
After hearing from me, my family in the U.S. contacted IMG. The IMG medical staff immediately went to work. On New Year’s Eve I was evacuated to the Miami Heart Institute. My initial diagnosis in Guam made me a candidate for transplant. After arriving in Miami it was revised to surgery to install a pacemaker. The final diagnosis after almost a month of hospitalization allowed me to walk out under medication that controls my condition.
IMG was there every step of the way. The handling of finances was a godsend. My family’s experience was similar to most - the pains and worries of attempting to deal with medical crisis. The financial burden for medical care at that time is not something that the family needs or could have handled.
I spent two months in the U.S. completing rehab and undergoing numerous check-ups with the cardiologist. Once again IMG made this pain-free. I can’t get over the personal involvement of IMG. All parties seemed personally involved in this group effort for recovery. At rehab, an IMG staff member called just to check on my progress. According to the doctors, this was a first for them.
When I left the U.S., I actually received a signed “Bon Voyage” card from the IMG staff who made my swift return to my job possible. This is the type of personal involvement that makes IMG. Needless to say, I am a true believer in IMG. The coverage and personal touch are second to none.”
- Chief Engineer - M/Y Double Haven