Recently MedCallAssist was put to the test by two of its well-renowned members, Wayne and Scarlett Hall. Together, they run Bush Alaska Expeditions located in Eagle, Alaska. Mr. and Mrs. Hall are known for their wilderness tours and expeditions, taking those who are willing and brave enough, on the adventure of their lives. Not only do adventure seekers learn to mush their own dog sled, but the Halls also teach valuable wilderness survival; and there is no one better to teach such knowledge than the Halls. Those willing to enter Alaska's most treacherous terrain face a multitude of dangerous elements. From extreme weather conditions with temperatures dipping well below zero and many of Alaska's natural predators, to being completely remote and far from any help from outside world. As beautiful as Alaska is, with its lure of natural essence and charm; it is also a place not for the faint of heart. As Mr. Hall can attest to below.
We asked Mr. and Mrs. Hall to share their story of becoming members, and how they felt MedCallAssist was able to come to their rescue, even in the heart of the Alaskan bush...
Q: Mr. and Mrs. Hall, could you please tell us a little about yourselves?
A: We live in a very remote location. No roads to our cabin, with access by boat in the summer and only by a dog team or snow machine in the winter. We also operate a dog sledding tour/expedition business, that travels in some of the remotest areas of the continent.
Q: How did you happen upon MedCallAssist and what were your initial thoughts about our service?
A: I can't remember who, but it was mentioned to us by someone in Eagle. Our initial thoughts were this would be "perfect" for the business we operate, if after checking it out and MedCallAssist was legitimate. The type of business we operate has potential for serious accident and/or injury in a true wilderness environment. Also where we live, there are no roads or access to medical care.
Q: Have you ever been in a situation recently, where you have called upon MedCallAssist? If so, could you please share with us that situation in detail.
A: I have only used MedCallAssist under, in what I consider, an extreme situation. Only twice, over the many years we have been a member with you, both times were extreme. As I write this now, I am under your doctor's, Dr. Stirling's care. Last month I was guiding a dog sled expedition from the Beaufort Sea to Eagle, Alaska. Seven hundred miles, at one of the remotest areas of that expedition, we got into a situation that was life threatening and I froze both feet. Forty-eight hours in frozen boots, with no way to thaw them out. No firewood and trapped on a ledge surrounded with deep overflow water. I don't even think a helicopter could have negotiated the canyon we were trapped in, and probably no rescue would have happened.
Deep into Canada, I was able to contact Dr. Stirling on the SAT phone for his advice. Dr. Stirling 100% understands "bush situations", and his medical orders are practical to the situation. Also years ago, Dr. Stirling composed four personalized medical kits, specifically designed for our operation and our needs. The required medications I needed, were in this kit. Dr. Stirling told me what to do, how to handle the feet, what antibiotics to take, and what pain medications to take. I had to call four times throughout the course of the expedition, and without his help, most likely I would have had to have been medevaced out when we got to the closest place one could have been acquired. With your doctor's medical knowledge of the situation, I was able to complete the expedition. I was willing to lose a toe, but not a whole foot.
Also, when this expedition was about to depart, I had a possible kidney stone problem. Dr. Stirling sent me the necessary medications, just in case the kidney stone did in fact become a problem and things went bad while on the trail. That didn't happen, but if it had, Dr. Stirling had me prepared for the worst. Two years ago I had a kidney stone at our home cabin. No medical access at our remote location, but he got me through that via SAT phone. If it got serious enough, he also had a medevac waiting in the background. A kidney stone is SEVERE pain, maybe the most important aspect of this to me was his accurate diagnosis of the problem over the SAT phone. I thought I was dying. Knowing I just had to deal with the pain and not impending death, was kind of a relief. He also told me the exact stages of recovery and he was right on.
Q: How well equipped do you feel MedCallAssist and its staff were able to handle your recent medical needs, and do you feel confident in the care you received?
A: 100% Perfect. One thing that impressed me much was in the above incident, when I froze my feet, I was using a SAT phone that could lose connection at any moment. When the MedCallAssist operator answered, I told her this is an emergency and that I could lose communications at any moment and to connect me with the doctor now/asap. She did not hesitate and I was talking with the doctor in about sixty seconds!!
Q: Would you recommend MedCallAssist to your family, friends, co-workers, and/or others in general?
A: YES! To anyone...anywhere. Especially remote.
Q: Overall, what are your current thoughts and feeling about MedCallAssist and its staff?
A: I don't know how you could improve the way you operate. It's not often you can connect with a REAL bush doctor with bush mentality for the situation.
Q: Mr. and Mrs. Hall, in closing, what would you have to say to others considering a membership with MedCallAssist?
A: A SAT phone, to be able to connect with MedCallAssist is the safest way to deal with an emergency outside the parameters of city life. I would highly recommend to anyone. It also impresses NPS, BLM, and any other controlling agency when you travel on these lands.
As you can see, MedCallAssist can be a valuable asset in anyone's life. Whether you're surrounded by all of life's conveniences in the city or exploring some of the world's most treacherous and remote terrain like the Halls do, we have you covered. We are happy to report Mr. Hall is back home and recovering well from his latest trek. We would like to thank the Halls, for their valued patronage throughout the years and their time in sharing their story.
For more information about our service and membership, please visit our website. You can learn more about Wayne and Scarlett Hall, and their Bush Alaska Expeditions via their site at www.bushalaskaexpeditions.com
Alicia C. | Customer Care Manager