Cruise Passenger Medevacked from Ship, Denied Medical Service by Hospital

An American man sailing on a Carnival Cruise Line ship this week was denied service at a Cancun hospital after he was medevacked from the vessel due to advanced appendicitis.

According to the Riviera Maya News, the captain of the Carnival Triumph called for the medical evacuation after 22-year-old Chase Kehler from Little Rock, Arkansas, was diagnosed with acute appendicitis by doctors on the ship.

A group of Mexican navy medical personnel based at Isla Mujeres were sent to meet the Carnival ship 4.3 nautical miles off the coast. Kehler was medevacked by an MLB-type rescue vessel and transferred to the Advanced Naval Station of Puerto Juarez.

Kehler was moved into a waiting ambulance and transferred to the Amerimed private hospital in Cancun. In a report from, the for-profit facility told the family admission was $6,000 and the surgery would be another $25,000.

When Kehler’s family said they didn’t have the money, they claim doctors stopped administering drugs and left the family in a hallway. Kehler’s mother eventually flagged down a paramedic who helped transport the man to Hospital Victoria, which only asked for a $6,000 deposit.

Once it was determined that Kehler would not be able to fly back to the United States due to his condition, he had surgery within the hour at Hospital Victoria.

“Chase was absolutely unable to fly via plane or air ambulance back to the U.S. so I felt we had no choice but to proceed with surgery,” Kehler’s mother told Newsweek. “I have just spoken to the surgeon. Chase did fine in surgery. His appendix had not ruptured but was black with a large amount of pus.”

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