Member Voice: ‘BCBS Made All the Difference in the World for Us’

CAITLIN: I was invited by
sorority sister, Bukette, in the beginning of May to come
and stay a month out in Malawi, and so a fellow
sister, Taryn, and I traveled to Malawi
to take a safari and travel to the
lake with her family. After we were done staying
with her grandfather, we went to go stay
with her parents. And after our first
night there, I ended up having an
adverse reaction to my anti-malaria
medication that led me to falling on their tile floor
and having a seizure, which ultimately broke the entire
right side of my face. My name is Caitlin McCarthy. I’m 24 years old, and I’ve been
a member of Blue Cross Blue Shield for my entire life. I remember waking up,
and Helen, Bukette’s mom, was cradling me
in her arms, just telling me that I
was going to be okay. So they took me to a doctor
that she is close with. He assessed me, and
at first, he didn’t think that I had
broken my face. When I got there after
the burning wore off, I knew that I had
broken something. CORY: I got a phone call
from the girlfriend’s mother that Caitlin was
visiting, Helen, saying that Caitlin had
had a little accident, was not feeling
well, and was going to be taken to
a medical clinic. My wife said that she had
also gotten a call from Helen, and had since spoken to
the medical clinic director. DONNA: Once we got involved
on our end here in the States, and Cory was making contact
with Blue Cross representatives here, the chain changed. CORY: From that moment
forward, the wheels just started turning like crazy. CAITLIN: The next day, my mom
called me on my cellphone. And she’s like, I
don’t like this. I don’t feel comfortable. I guess just call it
maternal intuition. And I told her, I said,
no, Mom, I’m not okay. I told her that I thought
my face was broken. I told her that I’d
been bleeding now for almost 24 hours. And that’s when I
think they finally realized how severe it was. CODY: Shortly thereafter,
it was decided that she needed to get to a
level one trauma facility. The closest one was in
Johannesburg, South Africa, which is 1,200 miles away. CAITLIN: So I stayed in the
clinic in Malawi two days, and then was medevaced
to Millpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. DONNA: Once we
knew she was going to be medevaced to
Johannesburg, I looked at Cory. I was like, we
have to go to her. One of us has to get there. You have a passport. You’re the one going. CORY: Wednesday afternoon I
was basically on the plane getting ready to
get down to her. Sometime between when I got on
to the plane and by the time I landed, the doctors
there in South Africa, they had made a
determination that she needed to get into surgery immediately,
that it was that bad. They did not want to wait. DONNA: When she got
there, they already knew this American was
coming and needed help. They were on the spot. And thanks to Blue
Cross Blue Shield, they had the right
amount of people and the right kind of
people to help her. CAITLIN: It was amazing. I got to the hospital. I was greeted immediately
by my surgical team. They had already been
briefed on what was going on and the extent of my injury. My trauma surgeon was like,
okay, so here’s the plan. I’ve got a maxillofacial
surgeon for you. I’ve got a general practitioner. They’ll be down here
in five minutes, and you’re going into
surgery tomorrow. CORY: And when I
got off the plane, I had a series of
texts telling me, Caitlin’s already in surgery. She will be getting
out of surgery right about the time that
you’re landing. So just get to the hospital
as soon as you possibly can. CAITLIN: My father arrived
at Millpark Hospital right when I was getting into the
recovery room from surgery. The nurses were
kind enough to let him see me for like two minutes. CORY: Ah, I can say it was a
lot of tears on both of our parts. But just knowing that she
was okay, just a huge relief. I mean I can’t tell you. My family means
the world to me. DONNA: Cory called
me from her bedside. I think he knew I needed
to hear her voice, and I wanted her
to hear mine. And I wanted
to hear Cory’s. CAITLIN: That was
the third time that I cried when I woke
up and saw him. I felt safe, finally. So I felt like it
was going to be OK. Up until then, I wasn’t sure. DONNA: Having very good
insurance with Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Without that,
I don’t know if Caitlin would be with us right now. CORY: Blue Cross Blue Shield
made all the difference in the world for us. I can’t imagine having gone
through that experience without their backing
and without their help. I can think of no
organization that could match the level
of care and service that they provided to us. [MUSIC ENDS]

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