Ray is a British national who spends his time living and working between the UK, Greece and Spain. Ray had always been relatively healthy and an active long-distance runner, but as an expat traveller he decided to purchase a Now Health International health insurance plan for him and his wife.
In September 2018 Ray had a routine endoscopy in Spain to remove some polyps, or abnormal growths, from his stomach. Unfortunately, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to remove the polyps via endoscopy, the decision was taken to opt for more invasive surgery. During the eight hour operation on 4 October 2018, a significant proportion of his bowel had to be removed which led to further complications, including a gastric leak and internal infection.
Ray was immediately rushed to intensive care with life-threatening sepsis and peritonitis and was in a coma for two to three weeks as his body tried to fight the infection. Now Health International worked to support Ray’s family with the treatment authorisation and arranged payment to the hospital directly, so they didn’t have to worry about the medical expenses. After 63 days in intensive care, Ray was finally allowed to return home. However, following the severe trauma to his body, he had to be fitted with a colostomy bag while his body continued to recover.
During this difficult time, in mid-November 2018, Ray’s wife Amanda was running for a taxi on her way to visit him in the hospital when she slipped and broke her ankle in several places. She had to be rushed to hospital where steel supports were fitted during a complicated operation. All this took place while Ray was comatose and unable to support his wife, but the Now Health team were able to assist Amanda quickly and efficiently so she could get back to focusing on Ray’s recovery.
Several months later, in June 2019, Ray went to visit a specialist surgeon in the UK that had been recommended to him for follow up. The surgeon was able to remove the colostomy bag and resection his colon, enabling Ray to return to a more normal life. However, when Ray later returned to Greece and then Spain, he started experiencing severe stomach pains. It was discovered that this was due to the development of abdominal scar tissue following the surgery, known as adhesions, and he would need a further operation to treat this condition. Once again Ray’s Now Health plan meant that the cost for his treatment in both the UK, Greece and Spain were covered in full.
Unfortunately, Ray’s story does not end there. During his ongoing treatment, it was discovered that he had some cancerous cells in the peritoneal cavity and pancreas. Once again the Now Health clinical team were able to support and advise Ray on his treatment across the multiple countries where he lives and works, and he has since undergone a series of chemotherapy treatment in both Greece and Spain. Ray is still undergoing treatment and is positive about the future; he hopes to soon be able to return to his passion for long-distance running.
Ray said: “I could not have asked for more from Now Health International. They were there when I needed them most - during a life-threatening situation and several major medical operations across multiple countries. Most importantly every surgery, which amounted to significant sums, were paid in full and promptly so I did not have to worry about the financial impact.
What’s more, the team were always friendly, professional and compassionate, including supporting my wife when she herself needed treatment. I would particularly like to thank Dr Angelo, Sharon, Julie, Joanne and the wider team for their amazing work during what were some very horrific circumstances for me and my family. They really pulled out all the stops to help save my life. Thank you”.
Dr Angelo, Clinical Advisor, said: “Ray’s was a complex and lengthy case, but we are pleased he is gradually on the road to recovery. With multiple surgeries and ongoing out-patient treatment required across multiple countries, our team had to coordinate both internally and with our medical partners to ensure Ray could access the treatment he needed, as soon as he needed it.
As Ray frequently travels throughout Europe, he really benefitted from the international element of our plan and our 24/7 customer service. This meant that one of our team was always on hand to help him, wherever in the world he happened to be!”