Calgary man stuck in Florida hospital after using medical evacuation coverage

Greg and Jody Day have been in Florida awaiting transport back to Alberta since early December. (GoFundMe)
Greg and Jody Day have been in Florida awaiting transport back to Alberta since early December. (GoFundMe)

A Calgary man who got severely sick on vacation in the Dominican Republic is currently stuck in Florida, after using his medical evacuation coverage. 

Greg Day was vacationing in Puerto Plata with his wife Jody earlier this month, when he got extremely ill during a dinner outing. A local medical clinic referred him to a hospital, which then misdiagnosed him with pneumonia. When care providers went to put a tube in him, they noticed there was a hole in his esophagus. 

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Deb Dancey, Jody’s cousin, says the couple was medevaced from the Dominican Republic to Florida, where Greg was expected to have emergency surgery.

“From there, everything just blew up,” she tells Yahoo Canada. “They found spots on his liver, and his lungs, and as of today, they haven’t received the biopsy results yet.”

The hospital told the couple they couldn’t perform the surgery until they found out the results of the biopsy. If it came back as cancerous, however, they told the couple they would discharge Greg and send him back to Canada. The couple was then told by their insurance company that they only cover one medical evacuation, which they’d already used to arrive to Florida from the Dominican Republic. The cost of a medevac for the couple to get to Alberta could be between $30,000 and $60,000.

Dancey has since started a GoFundMe page, in an effort to raise money to cover the costs of transportation home. Since then, the couple has been told there could be a possibility the insurance company would cover the costs.

“(The insurance company is) being very elusive right now,” she says. “They haven’t said if they’d cover some of it or all of it.”

In the meantime, Dancey says her cousin Jody is “frazzled” since she’s been dealing with the continually unfolding drama alone since Dec. 4. Fortunately, her brother has gone down to provide support. Greg is in the hospital, where he’s on morphine to help with the pain. However, he still has a hole in his esophagus and the hospital won’t go further with any treatment.

“Everyone is waiting in limbo while Greg is sitting there,” says Dancey. “They’re not addressing what needs to be addressed. He’s just taking up a bed there and they want them out of there. The sooner he gets home, the better because then he can get the care he desperately needs.”

So far, the GoFundMe page has raised nearly $18,000. If the insurance company does decide to cover the costs, Dancey says anyone who donated will be refunded.

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