The following stories have been adapted from our blog, Three Little Birds, co-authored by Zoe Alexander.
I wrote this while crossing the South Pacific from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas in French Polynesia—a 20-day trip of nonstop sailing.
Being away from the United States—and specifically, living on a sailboat with my family—has given me a unique perspective about daily life back home. One of our first concerns we had when planning the trip was how we would address any medical issues that arose at sea. For all the hype about pirates and storms, there is real danger in facing a medical issue in a remote location. Even a minor issue can develop into something major without proper diagnosis or timely treatment.
As our departure date grew closer, the medical question remained unsolved. We thought about taking EMT courses or adventure-care courses, but nothing really seemed to meet our specific needs. We were fortunate to find MedAire, which provides medical kits and training, and MedLink, which is the 24/7 telemedicine service provided through MedAire.
The experience has been a revelation.
The United Sates spends more money per person on health care than almost any other country in the world, but it does not even rank in the top 20 in quality of care. I think we can all agree that this is pretty disturbing. There are numerous reasons, some of them consistent with our values ...