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Homeward Bound

EMA Global - April 5, 2021 - 0 comments

The Situation

Mekala Osborne, a 22 year old female was on a backpacking holiday with her friends in Vietnam which quickly took a turn for the worst when she ended up fighting for her life in the hospital. While travelling in Vietnam, she developed flu-like symptoms and was admitted into a local hospital in Danang. It was found that she had developed a pneumonia-like virus which resulted in a nosocomial infection.

Within 24 hours of falling ill, Mekala’s condition deteriorated rapidly and she went into severe respiratory failure. Her family was told by doctors to prepare for the worst, with only a 5% chance of survival. 2 weeks into her illness, her family was advised to make arrangements to bring home her body instead as death seemed inevitable. Intense consultations were held between the insurer and EMA Global’s medical director on the best way to help Mekala. The decision was eventually made to bring Mekala to Singapore for treatment against all odds.

The Evacuation

Due to the severity of her condition, Mekala was put into a medically-induced coma. Mekala was in a critical condition – she was on high ventilatory support, in severe septicaemia, and had a chest drain for pneumothorax. The difficulty in the medical evacuation was to keep her alive while transporting her in an air ambulance to Singapore. Despite these challenges, EMA Global managed to keep her stable enough throughout the 6-hour long transportation from the hospital in Danang to Singapore.

Treatment in Singapore

In Singapore, Mekala spent 4 weeks undergoing intense treatment involving multiple teams of consulting doctors at Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Mekala had to undergo multiple thoracic surgeries and even had a V-V ECMO put in. The team of doctors were successful in their efforts to prevent further complications, with sepsis under control and inotropes gradually weaned off. Mekala beat the slim odds of survival given to her and has since made good progress in her recovery.

The Repatriation Home

EMA Global repatriated Mekala to Scotland on board a stretcher on a Singapore Airlines flight while she was still dependent on the ventilator. The Osborne family was very grateful to EMA Global for their part in saving their daughter’s life and are happy to see Mekala back on her feet.