Purchasing travel insurance offers help in medical emergencies - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Purchasing travel insurance offers help in medical emergencies

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

For many of us, the holidays are a great chance to escape and travel. That means a lot of planning: what to pack, what to see, and where to stay. One thing many of us don't plan for is a medical emergency.

It's important if you're traveling internationally to have a Plan B, so if you have a medical emergency, you can get care and get home again.

For three months now, Justin Lake has been trying to wake his paralyzed muscles back up. It's tough work.
 
"But I can feel the bottom of my feet, which is great, I have some movement in my fingers.  And I can feel pretty much from my waist up, everything," said Justin.

The Shepherd Center has been a lifeline, but it's not where you expect to end up when you're 32, and heading off on a dive vacation to Trinidad & Tobago.

"You never think it's going to happen to you, and it did. It happened to me," said Lake.

On the morning of August 26th, Justin and his friends pulled their rental car into a store parking lot to get some supplies.
 
"And before I could even open the door, this guy hit us, at like 80 mph.  He ran off the road, a drunk driver.  And took out the whole entire back of the car,"

Justin, in the backseat, suffered major head and spinal cord injuries. His friends scrambled to airlift Justin, to a hospital on Trinidad, for emergency surgery.  Justin's parents had to figure out how to get him - now critical – 2,100 miles home to Atlanta.

"We talked to one person who was a physician and it took them over two weeks to get him out of Africa back to the United States. We were fortunate with Justin because we got him back here within 30 hours of the accident, which everyone has told me is unheard off," said Justin's father, Larry Lake.

To hire an ICU jet, the Lakes had to charge a $28,500 deposit to their credit card. But, if Justin had purchased travel and emergency medical evacuation insurance -- for about $150 -- bringing him home would have been covered.  
 
"Don't go anywhere without insurance, especially medivac insurance. Because if you don't have an extra $30,000 or $50,000 cash or on your credit card that you can plow down, they're not taking off to go get you," said Larry.

Recovery is slow work, but Justin Lake is healing, and learning, about himself, about strength, and about the Shepherd Center.

"It's a special place. The people that work here, the patients here, and it's a very special place, people need to know that," said Justin.

The Lakes say the man who hit Justin was drunk, but was never arrested, and may never face charges. A U.S. State Department website says many of the alleged perpetrators of violent crimes in Trinidad and Tobago have not been arrested. For more information, click here.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Hidden Treasures: April 24

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:32 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:32:15 GMT
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
    We asked you to share your hidden treasures with us, and boy, did you ever! We got dozens of emails from viewers who wanted to know what the items they had stashed away are worth.
  • Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Weekend Event Celebrates "Anything With A Motor In It"

    Thursday, April 24 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-24 13:10:13 GMT
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
    If you spend your days fixing up cars, reading car magazine, and dreaming about that car you've always wanted...you might be a car enthusiast.
  • Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Safely restrain pets with the PupSaver

    Thursday, April 24 2014 8:07 AM EDT2014-04-24 12:07:29 GMT
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
    Most people treat their dogs just like their children. However, when it comes to dog safety in the vehicle, many drivers are buckling the children up but not safely restraining their pets.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices