Most travellers go to Thailand for adventure and relaxation – something that Mitchell and Jessica Magro were hoping for when they purchased both their Comprehensive policies for $141.40 AUD to cover them and their 3-year-old son Cooper.
Taking the reigns for his brother’s buck’s party in Thailand, Mitchell’s meticulously planned trip took a turn for the worst when he flew off a waterslide in Phuket, Thailand and ended up in a critical condition.
“I went down the second time and it went horribly wrong. Just got out of shape in the air. Came down and landing (sic) on my side pretty bad. I ruptured my spleen and yeah lost a lot of blood internally over that time.”
Mitchell’s brother was able to take him to the hospital after returning back to their hotel from the fun park. Once Mitchell was admitted into hospital, his brother was able to contact Jessica his wife who was spending time with her mother and son Cooper elsewhere in Thailand. She was able to fly to Mitchell from her hotel, leaving Cooper with her mother who also had a policy with Fast Cover. Once arriving in Koh Samui’s hospital for immediate medical treatment, it was apparent that the medical facilities were far from the best.
“They did the best that they can in the place that they were. It’s not Australian standards there. There were blackouts and mosquitos in the room. It was challenging. You had to bring you own food and things in there.”
Jessica contacted Fast Cover’s Emergency Assistance team who were able to fly him to a better medical facility in Bangkok where his symptoms dramatically improved.
“It was such a relief once that team arrived and transported him via ambulance and private jet.”
Suffering an ongoing fever for 8 days, Mitchell needed spleen surgery and multiple blood transfusions, In addition to these procedures, Mitchell had his lungs drained and his critical infection alleviated.
Jessica was able to contact Fast Cover’s Emergency Assistance team who were able to help her through the difficult time of not knowing whether or not Mitchell would make it through the surgeries due to his high loss of blood.
“… few times I was thinking if this is it, or this going to be it?”
Having to go through spinal surgery, pneumonia and abdominal surgery, Mitchell found himself not knowing whether he would survive.
“… Probably twice on the boat when I was actually getting transported from Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Samui, I was thinking this was getting pretty serious.”
Jessica quickly corresponded with Fast Cover’s Emergency Assistance Case Manager and was able to leave Cooper in the care of her mother in Bangkok.
“I spoke to the Case Manager and medical team 3 or 4 times a day and they just reassured me constantly so there was no issue with contact whatsoever. They were my lifeline daily.”
Fast Cover was able to cover both Mitchell’s and Jessica’s medical expenses including ambulance, transport and surgeries.
Jessica and Mitchell claimed on the flights to Bangkok and the flights back to Australia on their respective Comprehensive policies. Due to Mitchell’s condition, Mitchell, Jessica and Cooper flew back to Australia on Business Class, where Mitchell was able to be rehabilitated upon arrival back home in Australia.
Mitchell in the Bangkok Hospital Bangkok
Mitchell in the Bangkok Hospital Bangkok
Mitchell and Jessica in the Bangkok Hospital Bangkok
Mitchell in the Bangkok Hospital Bangkok
Fast Cover thanks Mitchell and Jessica for sharing their story to highlight the importance of purchasing travel insurance and how it helped in their specific circumstances. If you'd like to share your travel insurance claim story to help your fellow travellers, you can do so here.
Mitchell Magro – 34 years old
Jessica Magro – 34 years old
Cooper Magro – 3 years old
Fast Cover Travel Insurance,
31 Market Street, Sydney, 2000
Mitchell Magro: I’m Mitchell Magro
Jessica Magro: And I’m Jessica Magro
Q: How did the Bucks Party trip start?
Mitchell Magro: We wanted to sort… try to get a family holiday going, year to year. We went the year before with friends. We wanted to take Cooper on this year so we had it planned which we were all very excited about and yeah, the bucks party was just sort of an add on to that.
Q: Mitchell, how did you from the Bucks Party to the hospital?
Mitchell Magro: I had the reigns to actually organize the activities for that so I booked in a day for waterslides which I thought would be good fun. And yeah, I think it was the 3rd day of the trip. First, I went down the 1st time I think it was 10 points, and the guys were having a good time. And I went down the second time and it went horribly wrong. Just got out of shape in the air. Came down and landing on my side pretty bad. I ruptured my spleen and yeah lost a lot of blood internally over that time.
I waited around back in the room and sort of went away from the guys and just went back and tried to have a rest to see if it would come any better. But the guys came back and said we should go down to the hospital and get checked, so I did. It was starting to get a lot worse and I was probably trying to deny myself. It was my brother actually that got in touch with you guys (Fast Cover) and started to get the ball rolling.
Q: Jessica, what were you doing in Thailand?
Jessica Magro: I was actually flying over to Phuket. I was meant to meet Mitchell two days after. So, I just hopped on a plane with my mum and Cooper and landed in Phuket and checked into our hotel.
Q: And, how did you hear about Mitchell’s horrible accident?
Jessica Magro: It was probably about 2 hours into checking into the hotel and I got the initial phone call off Mitchell’s brother saying that he’d had a bit of an accident. Probably not noticing and not being aware that it was that severe. He said he’d give me a call early in the morning and that’s when we realized it was quite serious.
Once I got to the second phone call and realized how serious it was I think I was in an initial state of shock and panic and then ‘I need to get to him – I need to fly to him and get to him as soon as I can’. That was my first instinct. This was the first serious condition that he’s been in. He’s a bit accident prone. He has been a cyclist and has been hit by a car before but it was nothing serious. But this was the first serious condition.
I had to tell my mother not to drink the water and not get in a taxi because she has never been to Thailand before and I had to leave my son and her in hotel and I just got on the next flight to Ko Samui hospital.
Cooper Magro: And daddy was stuck in hospital.
Jessica Magro: Yes, he was, wasn’t he? He had an ouchie.
Cooper Magro: Yeah Daddy hurt his back.
Jessica Magro: But as soon as I got to Ko Samui and hopped off the plane that’s when the shock wore off and I realized I needed to talk to someone and I spoke to you guys (Fast Cover). It was then I spoke to a Case Manager, and from then it was daily. They called me nonstop, so it was great.
Q: How serious was his injuries?
Jessica Magro: When I arrived, he was in a pretty bad condition. He didn’t really look like himself. He was all inflamed and in ICU so he was still unconscious at this stage. So, it wasn’t nice at all.
Mitchell Magro: I had one surgery, and one procedure they called it. The surgery was obviously to remove the spleen and I had multiple blood transfusion in that surgery and I had an ongoing fever for about 8 days. They couldn’t work out what that was. I had to get my lungs drained and the infection removed. It was a tough 7 days that’s for sure. In and out of consciousness. Yeah so not great.
Jessica Magro: The language barrier was an initial struggle. The initial hospital, yeah it is a 3rd world country. Its not great conditions but all credit to them. They did the best that they can in the place that they were. It’s not Australian standards there. There were blackouts and mosquitos in the room. It was challenging. You had to bring you own food and things in there. Yeah it wasn’t great.
Q: Did you ever worry you were not going to survive?
Mitchell Magro: … Probably twice on the boat when I was actually getting transported from Ko Pha-ngan to Ko Samui, I was thinking this was getting pretty serious. There was team of people around me and I was sort of drifting in and out of consciousness and, yeah when I had fever… that a few times I was thinking if this is it, or this going to be it?
Jessica Magro: I think when they didn’t know what was wrong with him and at some stages he was in and out of consciousness… There were definitely times there… I’m getting emotional… I thought he wasn’t going to make it home from the first hospital (Ko Phan-ngan) so it was…
Mitchell Magro: That first week was a bit of a blur for me. I think Jess took a lot more in that I did. I was sort of drifting in and out.
Jessica Magro: I was trying to speak with my mum but her phone didn’t work for a few days, so that didn’t help. But I was definitely talking to her every day but trying not to speak to her a lot as I was so upset – it was upsetting Cooper and upsetting her as well so I was trying to hold it all together for everyone and then we just wanted to get them home.
Q: Who did you speak to at Fast Cover Travel Insurance?
Jessica Magro: As soon as we spoke to the Fast Cover medical team they made a call because they wanted to get Mitchell to another hospital in Bangkok and get him reassessed. And it was such a relief once that team arrived and transported him via ambulance and private jet. They did fly him at low altitudes because they weren’t sure how strong his lungs were for the altitude. Once we got into Bangkok hospital we had three doctors there we were in emergency they got antibiotics into his system and he automatically got colour back into his system. It was great. I think it was 15 days in hospital all up.
Fast Cover literally, I spoke to the Case Manager they were my life-line, like daily. I spoke to the Case Manager and medical team 3 or 4 times a day and they just reassured me constantly so there was no issue with contact whatsoever. They were my lifeline daily.
Q: How would you rate Fast Cover Travel Insurance?
Mitchell Magro: Definitely a 10 (taking out travel insurance). I won’t leave the country without it that’s for sure.
Jessica Magro: I just think if we didn’t he (Mitchell) wouldn’t be here and you just never know what will happen. Definitely a 10 for me (taking out travel insurance).
Q: What were you both covered for?
Mitchell Magro: It was medical expenses for myself. Flights… transfer from hospital to hospital.
I had covered all medical expenses. Ambulance, transport, surgeries… with my son they covered. My mother had a policy as well so they covered all the flights. They reimbursed us with accommodation that we lost on our family holiday, which was nice. They reimbursed everything and they constantly put me up in accommodation whilst I was there, even though I was sleeping on a chair in the hospital, they would make sure I had accommodation as a back-up in case I wanted to sleep inside a hotel in case I wanted a shower or something. They covered anything. I don’t think there was anything that was missed. We were lucky we got a comprehensive policy.
Q: You guys are back from your trip – how is everything now?
Mitchell Magro: We are lucky we are back on track and back at work and trying to get back to normality and getting the strength back. Very thankful to Fast Cover!
Jessica Magro: Lots of movies, lots of resting. Lots of Netflix and kids shows. I think Cooper did understood because there were lots of tears, lots of crying and facetime – we didn’t think it would impact but when we returned he kept mentioning it. He kept talking about how he didn’t want to go on the holiday so I think it probably impacted him more than we thought so we are calling the next holiday a trip, not a holiday.
Q: What would you tell other travellers about keeping safe when overseas?
Jessica Magro: The service and the phone calls and the support were just beyond anything I ever expected. I was just blown away by it all. Not only whilst it was happening but they called to check in, they emailed us and asked how my son was so it was really nice. I don’t think I would go with anyone else, especially now going through all that and I’ve advocated it to anyone travelling that will listen. I’ve said have you got insurance? Get it now.
Mitchell Magro: I actually threw it in my brother’s wedding speech.
Jessica Magro: I was probably just say: be aware of where you are travelling. Anything can happen to anyone. Make sure you do have travel insurance as well because it is normally the last thing you think about when you travel but if something goes terribly wrong it is your life-line. We didn’t hesitate about purchasing a Comprehensive cover and I even mentioned to him that you are on a Bucks so you never know what could happen… It was good. It all worked out in the end and we’re here to tell the story.