We know how scary it can be to fall ill while travelling. Read through the below story about how Paige, our founder, CEO and devoted advocate, helped someone navigate a complex health system.
Getting sick while travelling was an intensely scary experience for me. An experience I don’t think I would’ve made it through if it weren’t for my advocate, Paige Lennox, at CHAI. In February of 2022, eating a simple chicken quesadilla at a beach restaurant in Yelapa, Mexico forever changed the course of my life. I was hospitalized shortly after, suffering from extreme dehydration due to diarrhea. In the end, what started out as a severe case of salmonella poisoning, E. Coli. infection and a parasite would turn into a fight for my life and health.
After about a week in the hospital in Puerto Vallarta, I developed a severely complicated abscess that needed emergency surgery. I was dealing with a multitude of stresses including a language barrier and navigating a foreign health care system. I needed the advice of a medical professional in Canada and luckily, Paige answered my call. From that moment on, I had someone to support me for the rest of my hospital stay, surgery, a post-op infection I developed and recovery. On the most intense critical days after leaving the hospital, and after getting diagnosed with PTSD after the surgeon showed me the video and images of my own surgery, Paige was my rock. Not only did she help me navigate a foreign health care system, but she was also my emotional support.
She stayed on the phone with me all night the first night out of the hospital while I was grappling with an emotional breakdown. She messaged me every single day for weeks, sometimes 2-3 times a day. She got me to send pictures of my wound from my hotel in Mexico so she could monitor infection and assure me the massive wound I had was healing properly. When I got back to Canada, my surgical wound got infected. She helped me navigate multiple trips to the ER, visits to specialists and doctors and even assisted me in going to the wound care clinic, where I had to go every single day for 2.5 months for critical wound care. She kept track of my entire medical history, all of my worries, questions and issues and guided me in asking the right questions and making good decisions for my health. I could not have navigated getting sick in a foreign country if it weren’t for the help of Paige, my advocate.
Whether in Canada or abroad, our incredible team of advocates are here to support you, should you encounter an unexpected medical emergency while away from Canada. Learn more by tapping below.