In June 2014, the Spanish and French classes combined to go on a trip to Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; and Costa Brava, Spain. We were a group consisting of about 21 students and 3 chaperones. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Paris, and on the second night the majority of us wanted to see the Eiffel Tower “sparkle”. So all of us, except one student, one chaperone, and our tour guide, decided to go to the Eiffel Tower (and climb it).
The Night went fine up until we figured out that the metro that would take us back to our hotel closed at 1 AM. By the time we figured that out it was 12:30 AM and we had to make a mad dash to get back to the hotel before the metro closed. However, one of the girls (let’s call her Nicole), had asthma. And she didn’t bring her inhaler. All of us were sprinting to catch our connecting routes when Nicole had an Asthma attack. The French teacher and two other girls took her to the hospital while the rest of us returned to the hotel.
All of us were worried about Nicole. For me personally, I never experienced seeing someone having an asthma attack, so seeing it for the first time in a foreign country was kind of scary. I can’t imagine what it was like for Nicole.
In the morning, we were scheduled to go to the Versailles Palace. Before we left we were told what had happened at the hospital. Apparently when Nicole and the others arrived at the hospital, they were completely ignored. The French teacher was trying everything to get someone’s attention, since Nicole couldn’t breathe. When a nurse finally acknowledged them and gave them the paperwork, they were ignored again when asking for a pen.
Although this moment doesn’t involve me specifically, it was still a traumatizing experience. It disgusts me that the staff at the hospital ignored someone in need of help. It scares me to think that I could have a medical emergency and be completely ignored.
I’ll give the benefit of doubt that it was just a one-time thing or it was simply the staff working that evening. Either way, that experience will forever have me worry about medical emergencies in a foreign country. Anyway, I hope you all have safe and happy travels!
COMMENT CHALLENGE: Let me know down in the comments if you have experienced an emergency in a foreign country (or even someplace you weren’t familiar with).
Safe and happy travels everyone!