Medical repatriation from Nepal: ADAC brings a 54-year-old Patient with a Pulmonary embolism

March, 04, 2023 news detail

After suffering from a Pulmonary embolism, Martina Kuss was alone in a clinic in Nepal for several weeks. It was only with the help of an ADAC doctor that the 54-year-old was able to fly home. This was only possible after she was transferred to Norvic International Hospital where she availed the Benefits and Care of a truly World-Class Treatment. 

ADAC: ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club),  is Europe's largest motoring association. ADAC is the largest club (Verein) in Germany with around 21 million members.[2] It would be more aptly described today as an individual mobility association since it looks more broadly at all transport options ensuring individual mobility. Its headquarters is located in Munich, Germany. 

Martina Kuss shares her story here.

"At the end of my third trip to Nepal in November 2022, I realized that I was feeling bad. I had booked a guided trekking tour in the Mt. Everest region (Above 5,000 Meters Altitude level in the Himalayas). We had already been on the road for 13 days and were on our way to our starting point, Lukla, Nepal.

At first, I had a slight cold, a cough, and slept poorly. Luckily we were below 4000 meters altitude again. But I must have made such a bad impression that the guide asked me if I could do the last stage.

I was experienced. In my life I had often been in the mountains, be it hiking in the Alps, on Swiss glaciers, via ferrata in the Dolomites, or twice in Nepal at high altitudes. That's why I still dared to do this last stage.

But I got worse rapidly. I could hardly walk and couldn't breathe anymore, noticed how my movements became more and more uncoordinated, and in the end, I almost felt as if I fell into a black hole with no end and all dark. I am very grateful that the guide then made a decision and saved my life: to alert the helicopter for emergency rescue. 

I just managed to walk 30 minutes to the landing site. I could only get into the helicopter, which had landed in the meantime, with outside help and necessary aids. Then we went to the small Swacon Hospital in Kathmandu.

There I was first treated for the often-occurring altitude sickness. However, I continued to get steadily worse. I needed more and more supplemental oxygen. A CT scan diagnosed a Pulmonary embolism – the doctors found water and blood in my lungs. In an embolism, the blood clots and forms clots that, if stuck, can lead to death. Later, I was also diagnosed with “Pneumonia”. Nothing could have gotten worse and each day felt like a living hell.

“Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in the legs, and travels to the lungs, where it blocks blood flow to a portion of the lung. This can cause damage to the lung tissue and impair the function of the heart and lungs.”

With this diagnosis, the small hospital transferred me to the larger hospital, Norvic International Hospital in Thapathali, Kathmandu for further and better treatment. I was informed that the larger hospital will be able to treat me better and offer better care than anywhere else in the country of Nepal. 

After a few days, the medication kicked in and the fever went down. I could hardly eat or drink.

The professional medical treatment by the doctors was incredible and the empathy and care of the nursing staff were great. I can’t thank the whole team of Norvic International  Hospital more.

A nurse was there almost around the clock to take care of me, comfort me and hug me. During this time I was often in despair, but the great willingness to help and support helped me to keep the positive thoughts in my head as possible. This is when I started to smile again and my feeling of living through hell each day completely faded. I felt cared for, loved, treated, and alive again.

Immediately after I was admitted, the clinic was in contact with the doctors from the ADAC Ambulance Service. The doctors at the hospital regularly informed colleagues from the ADAC about the progress of my illness and recovery. And the ADAC informed my family about my health who at that time was in Germany.

After ten days my brother flew in and stayed a few days, which was very good for me. He took care of the first Visa extension and the luggage waiting at the hotel. I was pleased with a few gifts that he brought for me. The German Embassy took care of the second extension of the Visa.

After talking to our Nepalese colleagues, the ADAC doctors assured us that I was well cared for at Norvic International Hospital but could not be transported. I had to stay in Kathmandu for a while as I wasn’t still capable of traveling long journeys. Also, the Doctors informed me that, traveling long journeys could again cause my health to downgrade. So, I took their advice and stayed. After 45 days in the hospital, I was allowed to fly home.

The return flight in a scheduled airliner to Frankfurt, accompanied by a doctor from Germany, was very quickly organized by the ADAC. The doctor had oxygen for me and monitored my vital signs on the flight, which lasted more than twelve hours until we finally landed safely.

After my arrival in Germany, I was allowed to go home straight away because there was no medical indication for admission to a clinic. Now I'm recovering with all sorts of outpatient therapies, breathing exercises, and lots of walks.

I have positive memories of Nepal and the trip. I will definitely go there a fourth time. I don't have to climb the highest mountains. There are also impressive regions in Nepal for easy hikes, cultural experiences, or relaxation - in the middle of the Himalayas.

Nevertheless, Martina Kuss thanks all staff and team of Norvic International Hospital for all the love and care the organization has shown her.

Also Read: Everything About Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorder (WRMD)

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