The media and social networks have shown a great deal of interest this week in 12-year-old Peyton Johnson. We join the many others who wish Peyton a rapid recovery, but his story reiterates the advice we have in a couple recent articles.
Emergency Medical Care Delayed Due to No Insurance
Peyton and his family were aboard a Carnival Cruise when he was diagnosed with appendicitis by the ship’s doctor. Because there was a need for emergency surgery, Peyton and his mother Christie and a Carnival Cruise Lines interpreter left the ship in Progreso on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to seek medical attention for Peyton.
When they reached the hospital and doctors there, he confirmed the ship’s doctor diagnoses that Peyton needed surgery. The hospital, however, needed a deposit of $3,300 before doing the emergency surgery. Christie had $21 and no travel medical insurance. Emergency calls to different family members were able to raise the money needed to get started. Since there was nothing they could do, the rest of the family stayed on the cruise when it departed.
Peyton’s appendix ruptured before receiving the surgery resulting in a more complicated procedure. The appendix and a portion of the intestines was removed and the area around the rupture had to be flushed. He needed to be fed by IV and required strong antibiotics. It was reported that the charges were $900 a day.
Steps are being taken to return Peyton to the Houston area where he will be admitted to a children’s hospital. While the family is waiting for him to be able to travel, the American Embassy sent a representative to the hospital to process an emergency passport for Christie and her son. Carnival Cruise Lines is assisting in getting the passports and have agreed to pay for them.
U.S. law allows passengers on cruise ships doing a close loop itinerary to travel with other documents instead of a passport. A close loop itinerary is one that starts and stops at the same U.S. port. Cruise clients who leave a cruise ship at any point in the cruise must have a passport to travel to another country or to re-enter the United States. Carnival Cruise Lines and the Cruise Safely Team strongly encourage all guest to travel with passports as this situation clearly illustrates.
A medical escort team will be returning him and his mother today to Texas. Since Peyton became ill on Tuesday he has had $8,000 in medical bills in the Mexican hospital. His trip to Houston will cost about $6000. A trip back to Dayton, Ohio would have cost $10,000
To date, the bill are around $14,000 plus the expense for the upcoming hospital in Texas. It estimated that the total cost until he gets back home will be $25,000. A good argument for insurance.
The family has set up a go fund me page.