Air Ambulance Standing By!

Day 11 After the Fall (cont’d)

 With music to lull him, Jay seemed much happier. I slipped away to walk in my lovely park, then fired off some emails, thanking everyone for the wonderful gifts. I also emailed Mike about my conversation with Dr. Panti and Sandy, my concern that they would kick Jay out of the hospital.

Around 7:00pm, my phone rang.

“Hey, Mom,” said Mike, “how are things?”

I answered briefly, sensing some urgency in his voice. He’d be leaving for the airport in a couple of hours to catch his overnight flight to Rome. We’d already sorted out all the details. He would take a train from Rome to Perugia, arriving here mid-afternoon tomorrow.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Good news,” he said. “I spoke to Samantha at the insurance company after getting your email and all of sudden they seem to be springing into action. She says they have an air ambulance on stand-by, just waiting for the doctor to give the ‘fit to fly’ order.”

I felt a bit stunned. After all these delays, suddenly they were poised to fly us home?

“Really? Do they think it’s safe?”

“Well they seem to feel if Dr. Panti approves it, that’s good enough for them.”

“How soon?”

“That’s the thing. Sounds like it could be really soon. She said the plane could be there within 12-24 hours of them getting a copy of the ‘fit to fly’ order.”

Blood pounded in my ears. We would get home. It was going to happen!

“So,” Mike continued, “Any idea how soon Panti might give that order?”

“Well, I guess it could be pretty soon, like tomorrow or the next day. They do seem to want him out of there. But I’m still anxious about him flying so soon.”

I had been in touch with both our family doctor in Stratford and the family friend who had suggested contacting the Embassy, also a doctor. Neither had been willing to express an opinion without seeing the impossible-to-obtain medical reports and tests. Our family doctor had seemed a trifle hesitant about Jay flying soon after surgery, but…

“Mom, do you trust Panti?”

“Yes, I think so.” He had been so thoughtful and concerned about Jay. The surgery had gone so well (as far as I knew.) Surely he would not declare Jay fit to fly unless he really was. “Samantha said air ambulance? With attendants?”

“That’s the impression I got. She seems really eager to get Dad home. Sounded like, despite all their dithering, they want to do it right, spare no expense, get you home right away.”

“I can hardly believe it,” I said. I didn’t want to get my hopes up…but they were soaring. Oh, to be home with good old Canadian doctors and hospitals where I could actually talk to people!

“The thing is, Mom, should I still come? If they are going to fly you out in 2 or 3 days…?”

I saw his point. He would leave Hannah in Canada, come all that way, and possibly get stranded for a week in Italy by himself, after Jay and I flew home. “Uh, maybe not.” I so wanted him to come! But really, did it make sense? “Can you get a refund on the ticket?”

He’d bought the cheapest ticket he could find on short notice in the high season, no doubt one of those non-refundable tickets. It had not really been cheap.

“I don’t know. I doubt it.”

God, what a conundrum. Throw away over a thousand dollars? But what was the point of him coming if we weren’t going to be here? And it would cost more for him to stay the full week. I started to feel hysterical…again.

“Can you look into it? When is the airporter picking you up?”

“In an hour and a half.”

“Jeez. Okay, see what you can find out. It doesn’t really make sense for you to come if we are going to be leaving. See if you can get any refund and call me back.”

“Okay.” He hung up.

I paced my little room.

15 minutes later he called. “I can’t get a refund. It’s one of those tickets. Maybe I should just come.”

I sighed. What a bloody holiday this was, spend, spend, spend for nothing. “No, even if we can’t get a refund, there’s no point you coming all this way, leaving Hannah, potentially for nothing. I think you should cancel.”

Long pause. “Are you sure, Mom? I don’t want to leave you in the lurch.”

I didn’t want to be left in the lurch. I had so looked forward to… “It’s okay. If we really are going to get flown home in the next few days, I’ll be all right. Really.”

“I hate to waste all that money. If only we could get a refund.”

“When you called, did you push the emergency, family trauma bit?”

“Not really.”

“Try that. Sometimes airlines can be pretty sympathetic around medical crises.”

“Okay, I’ll call again.”

“And cancel, Mike. Even if you can’t get a refund. There’s no point. And I’m sure Hannah would be awfully happy not to be left alone in Canada.”

Pause. “Okay. I love you, Mom.”

“Love you too sweetheart. It’s gonna be okay. We’re coming home.”

I hung up and burst into tears.






3 thoughts on “Air Ambulance Standing By!

  1. Meg, I’m so glad that you are keeping me a part of the story! I am really enjoying it, and am fully riveted to it every time a new post comes through. I know the dust has settled, but please send my hello’s and best wishes to poor Jay!!! I do hope that all is well with you both!!

    All the best, Tegan

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