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As I mentioned last week, my family faced a medical emergency when we were in the parks during our recent vacation. I thought I’d take this week to tell readers about what happened when my mom had an emergency since many people have to deal with similar situations during their trips. Unfortunately, sometimes our health gets in the way of our having a good time at Disney World, but the cast members are there to help take care of the injured or sick guests and their families.
It all started shortly after we had arrived at the Magic Kingdom. Everything was going well until my mom started to not feel so hot. We thought we’d go to the Country Bear Jamboree since we wouldn’t have to wait and she could sit in the air conditioning for a while and try to feel better. It sounded like a great plan, but she only made it through a minute of the show when she said she needed to get out of there. My dad and I took her back out of the entrance while the rest of the family stayed with the kids to enjoy the show.
When we made our way out a cast member immediately spotted us and asked if we needed assistance. We had made our way out of the building so my mom could sit in her ECV, and the cast member popped back inside to call for help and then made sure to stay with us until help arrived. First on the scene was a security guard who took down some basic information and asked me if her condition was “ride induced.” Since we had only done the Tiki Room and two minutes of Country Bears, it was safe to say that this was not a reaction to a ride.
An area manager came next and talked to us briefly, conferred with the other cast members, and hung around to oversee the situation. She couldn’t have been nicer, but I’ll talk about that more later. EMTs were quickly on the scene to attend to the patient. Even though we were pretty sure she was having a flair up from her ulcer problem, the paramedics took no chances. They evaluated the situation and decided she needed to be moved backstage and probably be taken to the hospital. The security cast member and other attraction cast members were sure to keep other guests away from the area to allow the EMTs to work and keep my mom as comfortable as possible.
The manager I mentioned hung out with me while the EMTs treated my mom got her onto the stretcher. She talked to me about my mom’s condition as well as some other odds and ends. I told her I didn’t want my nieces and nephew to see their grandma in this state. She didn’t waste a second and asked me to follow her to grab my family as they exited the Country Bear Jamboree to keep them away from the area where my mom was being treated. She took the family into the nearest store, where she bought the kids lollipops; they were happily oblivious to anything happening outside. I was so grateful for her help I could have hugged her.
Meanwhile, the EMTs were about ready to take my mom to the ambulance, so I asked them what the procedure from there would be. One of them explained that they do not decide what to do with her. They simply had to get her to the ambulance, which was waiting backstage, and the paramedics working the rig would decide if she needed to go to the hospital or not (although it looked like they would be bringing her). There was only room in the ambulance for one other person, so my dad was the only one who could go with her. We said we’d be in touch via cell phone and hope for the best.
My brother, sister-in-law, and I were left with the kids to decide how to proceed with the rest of our afternoon and evening. We decided the best thing to do was to go back to the resort and bring the kids to the pool and try to relax a little. Because we had rented an ECV, I had to maneuver it out of the park. Our main concern was keeping the kids happy and trying to keep them unaware of the situation. I was so happy to have them around since they kept me smiling even when I was worried about my mom. Everyone was exhausted from our long day, so most of the family called it a night early, and I got to have dinner with some local friends. They were all amazingly supportive and offered to help in any way they could. A distracting dinner was exactly what I needed from them.
The ambulance brought my mom to Celebration Hospital, where she spent the night in the emergency room since there were no available beds in regular rooms. The doctors ran several tests to make sure she was okay before they released her. My dad stayed with her until her tests were complete that night. I originally thought I’d have to call on one of my local friends to drive me to go pick him up when he was ready to come back to the resort. However, I found out Disney would pay for his transportation between the Polynesian and the hospital. A friend mentioned a shuttle service between the resorts and the hospital, but a nurse at the hospital told my dad to take a take a taxi and that he would be reimbursed at the hotel. This policy worked out really well for our family, and we were grateful to have it.
The next morning, after talking to her doctors in New Jersey, the emergency room doctors decided my mom was able to go back to her vacation. She couldn’t wait to get out of there! Dad went back to pick her up with a taxi, and they were back at the Polynesian to relax with the family by about 4 p.m. Luckily, we were able to get get on with the rest of our trip, although we may have relaxed the pace a bit. We were all happy to be back together and enjoy Disney World together!
I hope none of our readers ever has to deal with bringing their loved ones to the hospital during a Disney World vacation, but at least you know they will be well taken care of if it happens. Happy and healthy travels to you all!