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SkyMed Champions Ray and Joella Paquette were enjoying their ex-pat life in Mazatlán, Mexico, when Ray suffered a heart attack in November 2019. He was taken to the Sharp Hospital Mazatlán, where the doctors determined he needed cardiac surgery. They successfully implanted three stents in Ray’s heart, but unfortunately in the ICU he began to exhibit signs of “delusional syndrome,” which can be triggered in some elderly patients by hospitalization after surgery. Recovery was slow, but throughout this trying time, Joella had SkyMed standing by to take them back to their home in the US.

From Joella: Jim Edwards, of SkyMed, was always there, my right arm, my safety net. I called and he answered the phone the day my husband Ray Paquette was admitted to Sharp Hospital in Mazatlán, MX, with a heart attack. After the initial call, Jim checked in almost daily to check on Ray’s status—and mine—clearly explaining all the steps required and offering his sympathy for Ray and, also, for me.

SkyMed became my assurance that, if possible and/or needed, they would be my “safety net” to get us back home. I never felt alone. Friends offered verbal support and caring, but SkyMed offered reality. I never knew that Jim Edwards was a SkyMed VP. Who does that at his level? He kept in contact even after Ray was allowed to return back to our condo in Mazatlán from Sharp Hospital, but had to remain in town for PT (physical therapy) due to doctor’s orders.

Once Ray was released from PT and able to travel, I called Jim who said: “Of course we will get you and Ray back home.” John Latimer, SkyMed member services’ travel agent, was a fabulous buffer between me and American Airlines, making sure we were always on-track with our (first-class) flights until the day of our boarding. This was a terribly difficult time with flights being canceled left and right due to the coronavirus.

What would you tell your friends about your experience with SkyMed?

Anyone who is not smart enough to get a membership with SkyMed to secure their life and return to their homes in case of a medical emergency does not understand “Life Reality.” Ray and I bought our Membership over 13 years ago when we were in perfect health. That night, lying in bed, Ray held my hand and said: “Now I can sleep peacefully knowing we’re safe.” He was sure right!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, SkyMed. I also want to mention the wonderful, caring contact from SkyMed’s Mazatlán representative, Margo Masse. Margo called often and even visited our condo complex to check on us. She’s a definite asset to SkyMed!

REMEMBER: Always keep SkyMed in the loop both during and after your emergency. Ray Paquette was not cleared to travel until nearly 6 months after his heart attack, but Joella kept SkyMed apprised of his continued recovery and we were able to book his flights as soon as he was ready. She also kept in close, continual contact with SkyMed Travel, which helped us book the best possible flight for their return, even during the start of the pandemic.


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