6 Medical Nightmares for Gap Year Parents

worried mother

This past year, EMA Care has assisted hundreds of gap year students in all different types of medical crises. What happens when your child is far away and experiencing poor health or, G-d forbid, in an accident? The following are medical nightmares that became medical success stories because of EMA Care involvement.

1.  Allergic anaphylactic shock – A student with a dairy allergy was promised the sherbet he bought was dairy-free. It may have been, but the spoon used was cross-contaminated ice cream on it. The student went into shock immediately; his friend did not know how to use his epi-pen. Luckily an army medic nearby was able to administer the EpiPen and get the student to the hospital. Someone called EMA Care to give detailed advice on how to live with food allergies in Israel. The student has not had another allergic reaction. We strongly encourage friends and Israeli staff to learn how to use an EpiPen and safely manage food allergies in Israel. It’s a matter of life and death.

2.  Car Accident – A student (pedestrian) was hit by a car. Her foot was broken. In the ER, EMA Care was called in to evaluate the situation and assure the parents she would receive the best medical care available. An EMA Care nurse spoke with the student in English, explaining all that was going on. She was in constant communication with the parents in the States. Together, along with the student, it was decided she would fly home to the States for treatment. EMA Care supervised the leg being cast and made sure she had proper assistance on the flight home.

3.  Emotional Breakdown – A student came to Israel, thinking her emotional issues were stable enough to be in Israel. After her first week here, her mother contacted EMA Care because she could tell from phone calls, something was not right. EMA Care’s mental health specialist established a relationship with the student and found the right treatment program for her. The student has had an amazing dream-come-true year in Israel.

4.  Wrong Prescription – A student with strep throat was given the wrong prescription for antibiotics. With a high temperature, pain, and lethargy, he went from pharmacy to pharmacy looking for someone to fill the prescription. He didn’t understand what the pharmacists were telling him. His mother said, “you have EMA Care. Call them.” EMA Care knew right away the medicine prescribed did not exist! EMA Care staff, at 9 PM, called the student’s insurance company and the doctor to explain what had happened. An EMA Care nurse told the student how to take care of himself until doctors can give the proper prescription to him the next day.

5.  Pneumonia – A student became very sick with pneumonia. Thanks to the excellent response, she did not need to be hospitalized, but she was very, very sick. EMA Care was able to visit her in her dorm room to check on her recovery. An EMA Care nurse assessed her vital signs and lungs, made sure she was compliant with her meds, offering easier ways to handle the medication. The nurse also asked seminary staff to prepare nourishing food for her. The recovery was two weeks. The student and her parents appreciated EMA Care’s contribution to her full recovery.

6.  Misdiagnosis – A student developed a strange pain in his arm. With no history of trauma, he was diagnosed with a benign orthopedic condition by a family physician. The EMA Care case manager suspected, based on symptoms, that it could, in fact, be a more serious condition (as the student had substantial pain and disability) and discussed the situation with the parents. EMA Care cab arranged a specialist scan and appointment, and the student was diagnosed with a fracture. The healing process is entirely different for a fracture, and excellent rehabilitation was arranged through the insurance company. Misdiagnosis can happen anywhere, but with an “extra pair of eyes” on the situation, the likelihood is lower with EMA Care.

Every gap year program does its utmost to take care of its students when they are sick. However, there are no medical experts on staff. That is where EMA Care comes in. Don’t let your nightmare become your reality. Contact EMA Care for your peace of mind. Contact EMA Care to learn about our gap year services.


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