Longboarder owes life to full-coverage insurance
Sun, 15 Jul 2012 6:23p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
Kiwi tourist Sean Kenzie has been kicked out of a private Thai hospital for not paying enough of his medical bill.
Mr Kenzie had travel insurance but wasn't covered for the motorcycle crash he suffered.
One man has another story highlighting the benefits of full travel insurance coverage.
Gisborne longboarding champ Ian Procter can only wistfully watch the waves now.
He hasn't been on his board for nearly a year after an accident in the water that nearly claimed his life.
“At one stage I said my prayers and accepted I might not wake up the next morning,” he says.
While longboarding in Hawaii, Mr Procter cut his foot. He treated it and carried on.
But a week later he knocked his hip, again longboarding. It hurt. But, high on adrenalin, he ignored it. A day later he was in agony and went to hospital.
“I thought it was quite bad. I was in a lot of pain. I was yelling my head off. I think they heard me on the east side of the island.”
But the hospital refused to admit him until he had shown his passport and travel insurance.
“If I didn't have that I would have continued to have been in agony, and certainly could have died.”
Once his $100 insurance was checked, he received the full hospital treatment.
“While I was in hospital they discovered I had picked some kind of bug up, and that I had got a crack in my bone – my lower pelvis I think. It had infected my leg things had gotten quite serious.”
The bug was never identified. Mr Procter spent a month in hospital. The bill ran into the tens of thousands of dollars.
He was eventually flown to Middlemore Hospital, where part of his upper thigh was cut out.
A stint at Gisborne Hospital followed.
He was on heavy medication for months, before his hip was finally replaced. But that wasn't without complications. He nearly died, again.
“Aside from afterwards, I couldn't stop bleeding from that operation. My blood pressure dropped. Everything worked out.”
Everything worked out, except for when he came off the morphine; he had become addicted.
“The sweats, getting hot and cold, itchy and shaking, and not being able to sleep at night too was another very difficult one – wanting to sleep but you couldn't.”
But he overcame that.
Now the 56-year-old is learning to love life again, all because he had full-cover in his travel insurance.
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16/07/2012 1:18:36 p.m.
I guess this is a lesson learnt for all, to get full cover, no matter where you travel...
15/07/2012 10:05:57 p.m.
Tori-iti Procter wrote:
Thankfully his travel agent suggested the comprehensive travel insurance. He had been away on holiday for the previous years with a basic insurance. Had he not had the Insurance suggested by his travel agent at Air New Zealnad (now closed down) he would have been sent down the road.
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