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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Aussies Thailand Bucks Party turns into Family Nightmare

Mitchell Magro found himself fighting for his life at his brother’s Bucks Party in Ko Samui on the 11th of August 2018 when he landed awkwardly on his side on a waterslide. This accident resulted in a life-saving open laparoscopic splenectomy and treatment for an onslaught of pneumonia due to the dire conditions at Bangkok Hospital Samui in Ko Samui.

Mitchell Magro’s medical expenses came to an exorbitant amount of $87,171.70 AUD – which included medical and hospital expenses, a private jet medivac service, accommodation for his fearful wife, mother-in-law and then two-year-old child, and a Business Class flight back to Australia; all covered by Mitchell’s $63.90 Comprehensive policy purchased from Fast Cover Travel Insurance.

Jessica Magro reached out to Fast Cover Travel Insurance to share their Thailand holiday turned life-threatening nightmare. Jessica, a former Westpac Holiday Rescue Case Studies Manager is wife to Mitchell Magro; an Aussie labourer and family man, living in Sydney with their three-year-old son Cooper.

“I actually threw [remembering to purchase travel insurance] in my brother’s wedding speech,” says Mitchell, grateful that for his wife Jessica, travel insurance was a non-negotiable.

A fun and light-hearted day of brotherhood and pre-nuptial celebrations, almost cost Mitchell his life and putting his brother Jordan’s wedding in jeopardy – where Mitchell and his wife Jessica were both Best Man and Maid of Honour respectively. On August 11th 2018 Mitchell and Jessica Magro flew to Thailand after purchasing separate policies to cover their whole family – Mitchell on his way to his brother Jordan’s Bucks Party in Ko Samui and Jessica, sight-seeing in Thailand with her mother and then two-year-old son, Cooper.

It was at the fun park in Ko Samui that Mitchell tragically fell down a waterslide awkwardly, which resulted in his lungs collapsing, a ruptured spleen, two litres of blood loss, a life-threatening fever and pneumonia- all of which came to huge bill of $87,171.70 AUD.

It was Mitchell’s brother Jordan who took him to the hospital after Mitchell experienced abdominal pain, a few short hours after he fell on his side down a popular waterslide at his brothers Bucks’ Party. Mitchell then suffered post-surgery infections from the 40-degree heat and poor hospital resources. Mitchell lost over two litres of blood in Bangkok Hospital Samui while awaiting laparoscopic splenectomy surgery.

“The language barrier was an initial struggle. The initial hospital was in a 3rd world country. They did the best that they can in the place that they were. It’s not Australian standards there. There were blackouts and mosquitoes in the room. It was challenging. You had to bring your own food and things in there. Yeah it wasn’t great,” said Jessica Magro when interviewed by Fast Cover Travel Insurance.

“I was thinking this was getting pretty serious. There was a team of people around me and I was sort of drifting in and out of consciousness and, yeah when I had fever… a few times I was thinking if this is it, or this going to be it?” Mitchell shared with Fast Cover about his near-death experience.

Fast Cover medevac’d Mitchell by private jet from Bangkok Hospital Samui in Ko Samui to Bangkok Hospital in Bangkok where the facilities were more accommodating to his condition.

“We’re happy our expert emergency medical team can provide the help needed in serious situations and our policies can cover huge medical bills which can have a crippling life changing affect.” says Dean Van Es, Fast Cover Travel Insurance CEO.

After Mitchell underwent abdominal surgery and his fever was stabilized,Fast Cover Travel Insurance’s emergency medical assistance team promptly organised a Business Class flight for Mitchell, Jessica and Cooper.

“The [Fast Cover] Case Manager was my life-line, like daily. I spoke to the Case Manager and medical team 3 – 4 times a day and they just reassured me constantly so there was no issue with contact whatsoever. They were my lifeline daily,” said Jessica Magro.

“Stories like Mitchell’s are not uncommon for Aussie travellers. At Fast Cover we treat each policy on a case by case basis and when we heard about Mitchell’s case, our Fast Cover Emergency Assistance Team and claims team reacted immediately to do all they could to bring him home in a stable condition,” says Mr. Van Es.

A current survey from DFAT showed more than 1,000 Australians travelling to South-East Asia, in the last two years, were travelling overseas without travel insurance – at least 10 per cent.

Thankfully for Mitchell Magro this was not the case. Though trips to Thailand have dropped since 2012, Aussie travellers are still going to ‘Amazing Thailand’ for Bucks’ parties and the infamous full moon party on Ko Phangan Island.

“82 per cent of travellers are undertaking risky behaviour that is unlikely to be automatically covered by insurance*,” says CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia Rob Whelan.

“We are happy to help our travellers any way that we can when they purchase a policy with us. It’s reassuring to hear when our travellers tell us they are glad they’ve purchased travel insurance and they are able to claim when the unexpected does happen. We have a great relationship with our travellers and want them to fully utilize the policy when they need to,” says Mr Van Es.

* Insurance Council of Australia & DFAT Traveller Behaviour in South East Asia Report, July 2018

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