Hawaii: Getting home

How it’s going…

None of us were thrilled with the red eye flight we took from Honolulu to Denver. We left Hawaii at 8:30 p.m., and were to land in Denver at 7:30 a.m. mountain time.

Our trip took an unexpected turn when 30 minutes before we arrived in Denver, Zach passes out in the plane! He said he wasn’t feeling well, then he’s slumped over and not responding. I know now what it means when you hear “we have a medical emergency” on an airplane.  Four passengers who were medical professionals showed up to help.

They gave him oxygen and water and he came around. We touched down in Denver and waited until everyone was off the plane. He walked out of the plane but said he still felt really bad so we laid down in the airport terminal. It’s 7:30 a.m. in Denver, but to us, it was 3:30 a.m. None of us had really slept at all since our flight took off at 8:30 p.m. Hawaii time.

We knew he wasn’t going to be able to get on the next flight in two hours, so me and Zach get booked on the same flight the next morning. We make a hotel reservation in Denver. We get help from the airport paramedics because Zach still does not look good. Scott and Adam catch the connecting flight.

The paramedic does a variety of tests and suggests that we go to the ER to get checked out. She said he wasn’t recovering as quickly as she’d like, and when he stands up, his heart races. She says we can go by ambulance (that’s here at the airport) or wheel him out in a wheelchair to the rideshare pick up and take a Uber or taxi. While pricey, we decide an ambulance is probably the best option.

The paramedic starts an IV at the airport and they wheel him out on a stretcher and into the ambulance. Zach and I can now cross off “ride in an ambulance” from our bucket list!

Lots of tests at the hospital including chest x-rays and EKG.

They hear a heart murmur so we get an Echo (Echocardiogram) too. The hospital is a teaching hospital so we see a couple of nurses, doctors, a cardiologist, and medical students. They decide the heart murmur is nothing (it’s a common thing I guess), and we are released.

The bright spot of the day was getting this pic – yay for Ali!

Dinner is in the hospital cafeteria. Neither of us has really eaten anything since we got on the plane in Hawaii. Zach did eat a little bit, and then it’s an Uber to our hotel.

I’m asleep by 7:30 p.m., I think. The alarm goes off at 7:30 the next morning, and I could have slept longer. Breakfast at the hotel and then we arrive at the airport. What the…

The security line circles around three corners of the airport. I’m thinking we are never going to make our flight in an hour and a half. We slowly move forward, then occasionally the line moves really fast. Once we are at the entrance to the actually TSA security, there’s no line? What in the world?

We had a gate change, and then our flight is delayed twice. It appears air travel is not running as smoothly in 2021. I’ve heard stories of weather delays, that turn out to be delays because there’s not enough pilots or flight attendance to man the flights. This is on the heels of a bunch of layoffs in 2020, during #COVIDchaos when flights were grounded and down 90%.

Finally on the plane and made it home in one piece! Now we just wait for the bill… 😐

Update 7.31.21: We got the bill. The ambulance ride was about $2,000. We owed $3,100 for the hospital. We are on a high deductible plan so insurance did kick and pay a little…

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