The faith and courage it took for Stephanie to leave her family – including her children – to embrace alternative care options through medical tourism is inspiring. - Teressa McCluskey, Vice President, MedFlight911.
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) April 05, 2013
On December 24, 2012, Stephanie Deasy, one of MedFlight911 Air Ambulance's former patients, passed away following a lengthy battle with lung cancer. MedFlight911 first got to know Stephanie when the worldwide air ambulance service company helped transport her back to her home in Virginia after she received treatment at an alternative medical clinic in Mexico – part of a growing number of U.S. patients taking part in medical tourism.
Stephanie was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in July 2010. Initially, her doctors told her that she had just six weeks to live. “I was in complete denial,” said Stephanie in an interview conducted before her death.
Rather than submit immediately to a round of grueling chemotherapy, Stephanie decided to pursue more holistic therapies. Within a few days of learning she had cancer, Stephanie flew to Tijuana, where she checked in to the Sanoviv Medical Institute. At Sanoviv, Stephanie received a variety of both conventional and alternative treatments that prepared her to start chemotherapy.
“The faith and courage it took for Stephanie to leave her family – including her children – to embrace alternative care options through medical tourism is inspiring,” said Teressa McCluskey, Vice President of MedFlight911. “Stephanie could have ended up spending the end of her life in Mexico instead of with her family. But she was willing to take that risk for more time.”
After a month in Tijuana, Stephanie was ready to return to the United States. She crossed the border from Mexico to San Diego, where MedFlight911's air ambulance team met her. The company's experienced medical and flight crews helped ensure that Stephanie's trip back to her home in Virginia came off without a hitch.
“Having the opportunity to meet and get to know Stephanie was amazing,” said Dee McCluskey, President of MedFlight911. “Her story was a true inspiration to us all, and her grace and courage in a the most difficult of situations were amazing.”
After returning to her home in Virginia by air ambulance, Stephanie defied the odds. “At home, she made an amazing turnaround and survived another year and a half,” explained Dee McCluskey. “For someone who had stage four cancer and had been told she had just six weeks left to live, to have that much more time with her friends and family is just phenomenal.”
Teressa McCluskey said that as a mother herself, and someone who – like Stephanie – works hard to live a healthy lifestyle, she really identified with Stephanie. “Sometimes we have a patient whose story strikes particularly close to our hearts. For me, Stephanie was definitely that person. Rather than accept the U.S. doctor’s prognosis of just six weeks, Stephanie fought the fight as long as she could. It’s inspiring.”
“Medical tourism” – traveling outside the U.S. for medical treatments – is becoming more common. Roughly 750,000 Americans will travel outside the U.S. for medical treatments in 2013, according to Patients Beyond Borders. Individuals like Stephanie leave the United States in order to seek out care that's not available or is more affordable than they can find at home. Many of those medical tourism patients rely on air ambulance companies like MedFlight911 to get them to and from their destinations.
“MedFlight911 has the experience and expertise to assist with international air ambulance transports,” said Dee McCluskey. “We've coordinated numerous air ambulance trips that involve crossing national borders, including for medical tourism, and our team understands the unique requirements of these journeys.”
To learn more about Stephanie's story, watch this series of interviews, available on YouTube.