Gary Worthington used a Kiwanis benefit after getting injured on an African safari
Gary Worthington marveled at the hippos, cheetahs and leopards. The African landscape stretched in front of him and his traveling companions. But on his last day of an 18-day trip to East Africa, he severed his quadriceps tendon while climbing into a vehicle. His focus quickly turned to getting back to California from Arusha, Tanzania.
“We’ve traveled all over the world, including East Africa and South Africa, and we’ve experienced a few close calls,” Gary said. But this trip was different. One month before he and his wife, Claudette, and two other family members departed, he bought travel protection from Kiwanis partner Emergency Assistance Plus.
Gary Worthington saw many animals, including leopards, on his African safari.Gary, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach, California, is eligible for the coverage as a member benefit of Kiwanis International.
“Because we’ve entered the ‘old age’ category, I felt this type of coverage was valuable and not expensive. I put the offer on my desk and forgot about it,” he said. Later, when he decided to accompany some family members on the trip to Kenya and Tanzania, he applied. EA+ covers unforeseen expenses that can occur because of illness or injury while traveling.
Gary’s one misstep left him unable to walk. He managed to catch his plane to Nairobi, where he contacted EA+ and the wheels were set in motion to get him home.
He spent one night in a Nairobi hospital, where he underwent an MRI. That test caused him to miss his flight. Fitted with a leg brace, EA+ went to work to schedule the return trip home.
“It took some time, but wow did they come through,” Gary said. “They arranged for a doctor from Istanbul to fly to my hotel. They booked us on Turkish Airlines, where the doctor helped with arrangements, relieving my wife of the stress she would have faced. I flew in a first-class bed to Istanbul, with my doctor by my side and my wife in an upgraded seat.”
Gary says they experienced excellent treatment in the Istanbul airport, where he traveled in a motorized wheelchair, stayed in a first-class lounge and was lifted onto the plane with specialized equipment.
“Again, I was treated to a first-class seat and a bed, next to the lavatory, which you appreciate when you are on crutches with a full leg brace, for the 11-hour flight back to Los Angeles,” Gary said. “The doctor arranged transportation everywhere, and was with us all the way to the front door of my home.”
Gary says he had surgery the next day and has fully recovered. He credits EA+ for a smooth trip home.
“The fact that my wife and I were in excellent health and great shape before our trip only verifies my feelings,” he said. “When you travel anywhere, anything can happen and how would you deal with it. For me, EA+ was a lifesaver in a time of real need.”
His wife agrees.
“He claimed the coverage was for me since I’m slightly older than he is,” Claudette said. “But from the time he was injured on the last day of our African safari, until the time we arrived at our front door, it was a saga of great concern to me.”
Claudette said the “travel headaches” were solved by EA+, which relieved her of a “mountain of worry and stress.”
“My story should be a wake-up call to anyone traveling away from home,” Gary said. “I don’t know how much it cost EA+ for this service, but I guarantee it would have set me back more than $20,000. I will be a client for life from now on.”
Echoes his wife: “I can never thank this company enough for the way they took hold of the problem and got us home safely. You have to have been in this kind of predicament to appreciate how they came to our aid, far more than either of us expected.”
Information about EA+ and the travel protection available to members of Kiwanis clubs is available at EmergencyAssistancePlus.com/Kiwanis.
The situation above is based on an EA+ member testimonial. Each case is unique and benefits utilized may vary based on the specific needs of each case. Please note that Emergency Assistance Plus is a membership program and is not insurance.