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Seriously injured in Mexico!


Julien Fournier

If I didn’t have my travel insurance, I don,t know if I would be able to walk Today!  


This is the story of Julien Fournier of Trois-Rivières, who seriously injured his back in a kayaking accident in Mexico. He has allowed us to retell his story, which was also the subject of a news report on TQS Mauricie.

November 29, 2002, 7:23 p.m.
CanAssistance receives a call from Mr. Fournier’s wife; the call was immediately transferred to the medical team.

  • Dr. Savard, the duty physician at CanAssistance, spoke with Dr. De La Rosa who examined Mr. Fournier at the Ciudad Vallés General Hospital. The patient had a back injury, a compressed vertebra. Dr. De La Rosa thought surgery would be necessary and that the patient should be evacuated; other test results would later confirm that diagnosis.

  • One of our CanAssistance nurses contacted Sky Service to reserve an air ambulance and find an escorting physician and a nurse to pick up Mr. Fournier. She coordinated Mr. Fournier’s admission to a hospital with a trauma centre. Dr. Lemire, the duty orthopedist at the Centre hospitalier Enfant-Jésus in Quebec City, confirmed they would be waiting for the patient.

  • A few hours later Dr. De La Rosa gave his final diagnosis: without surgery the patient was in danger of becoming a paraplegic. Dr. Savard then confirmed the repatriation, but had to plan for a stop along the way if Mr. Fournier’s condition deteriorated. If that happened he would be operated on in the U.S. The nurse contacted Sky Service again to let them know this last detail: the flight plan would be modified to allow a landing along the way, if required.

November 30, 2002, 12:40 p.m.: Dr Vincent Poirier, escorting physician, and Sacha Teofilovic, paramedic nurse, take off aboard the Sky Service air ambulance for Mexico. Upon arrival in Mexico, they must pick up the patient who was hospitalized in Ciudad Vallés, more than two hours by road from Mexico City.
They arrive in Julien Fournier’s room in the early evening and determine that he is suffering but can be returned safely. His wife is visibly relieved to have them take over. During the return trip, the medical escort ensures Mr. Fournier’s condition remains stable.

December 1, 2002, 1:35a.m.: The Sky Service medical team calls the night nurse at CanAssistance and confirms that Julien Fournier has arrived and that any danger of paraplegia is remote.

Intervention summary:

50 minutes: That’s the time it took the CanAssistance team to coordinate the repatriation and admission of Julien Fournier to a hospital with a trauma centre.

30 hours: The time between the initial call from his wife and Julien Fournier’s admission to the Centre hospitalier Enfant-Jésus in Quebec City.