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While on a caravan trip to the Newmar Rally in Syracuse, NY last September, I started having problems with my foot. A friend suggested I go to Urgent Care. When the doctor saw me, he immediately said: “Mr. Lown, if we don’t do something now, you’re going to lose either your toe or your foot. You need to be hospitalized now!” Well, I’m caregiver to my wife and leaving her alone in the RV while I went to the hospital was not an option. On the way back to the motorhome I told her, “I’m in trouble and we need to get home.” By that time, it was Tuesday night, so I called my SkyMed rep friend, Kay Oshel. She called Jim Edwards, VP of SkyMed Member Services, right away and explained my situation.

Fifteen minutes later, Jim called me directly and said the doctor needed to fill out a “Fit to Fly” form so I could get arrangements made to get home as soon as possible. Early the next morning, the Urgent Care physician filled out the form indicating I needed to get home urgently and that a commercial flight was not feasible. At this point, I told them I had a close friend who owns a King Air 12-passenger twin-engine jet. I had told my friend I was working with SkyMed and that, if there was no other plane available, I’d call him back.

Since my friend was in Joplin, my road driver could fly in with him on the plane and I could return home with my wife and my dog. I explained this to SkyMed when they called back—they said this was an unusual circumstance, but with the doctor’s authorization they could have my friend get to NY and they’d pay for getting my motorhome back home. My friend flew in from Joplin right away, landed at Niagara Falls National Airport, and fifteen minutes later we were taxiing down the runway on our way home with our Dachshund. 

From initial call to getting to the hospital in Joplin, Missouri, it all took less than 24 hours.

How did you find out about SkyMed and why did you choose SkyMed?

Honestly, it turns out the very first person on one of your brochures was Norm Boswetter, who was a customer of mine. He bought a SkyMed membership back in the 80s when SkyMed was still a new company. At one point he was in South Texas and had to get home because of kidney failure. He was one of the first people SkyMed ever transported, so he was on that brochure for a long time. That’s why I bought my membership! We’ve been on the road for years and I’ve had it ever since. I never dreamed I’d ever need it, but I’m sure glad I had it!

REMEMBER:  When facing an emergency situation, make sure you include every last detail of the issue in your call to SkyMed. For example: Do you have a pet? Is your spouse/companion willing and able to travel? Have you contacted your home hospital and doctor for assistance? It could mean the difference between life and death!


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