Injured and Out of Town
The Amazing Difference
Tom and Susan’s 15-year-old son, Will, was playing water polo at a tournament in Albuquerque, NM. It was an exciting game and Will was on defense, just in front of the goal, when he came up from underwater and turned to where he knew the offense was about to shoot the ball. He was a second too late and the ball was already on its way. The good news? Will blocked the ball on its way to the goal, preventing the opposing team from scoring. The bad news? He blocked it with his head; he never saw it coming.
Will swam to the opposite side of the pool from where his parents were sitting. They looked on with concern, not really knowing what had happened or whether they needed to go to him. Some friends caught Tom’s attention and waved them over. They said, “when Will swam to the side of the pool, he looked very disoriented and pretty out of it.” Will was helped out of the pool and taken to a quiet office where he could lie down to be assessed. He was conscious and coherent, just dazed. The pool manager and lifeguard on duty both agreed that under the circumstances, an ambulance would have to be called.
While waiting for the ambulance, Tom remembered the Amaze class he had attended at work a few months before. With nothing more to do other than wait for the ambulance, Tom found the Amaze app on his phone and hit “talk to an Amaze doctor right now.” He and the doctor talked for just a minute. The doctor asked him if Will had become unconscious. Tom answered “no.” The doctor asked if Will had vomited. Tom again answered, “no.” And then the doctor simply said, “Paramedics are coming, so they can certainly check your son out better than I can. Feel free to call back if you have any questions. I’ll put myself at the bottom of the call queue so I should be available myself if you call back in the next half hour.
The ambulance arrived and the EMT’s checked Will’s vital signs and examined him for a concussion. Because he was showing definite signs of having a concussion, they recommended taking him to the hospital to be evaluated by a doctor. As concerned parents, away from home and their normal doctor, they decided it probably was a good idea, but they had no idea if their insurance would cover such a trip or if the hospital was in network. Susan told the paramedics to go ahead and take Will to the hospital. As they started moving Will onto their stretcher, Tom said, “Hang on. Can you give me just a moment?” Tom called back and spoke to the Amaze doctor he’d spoken to just a few minutes earlier. He asked the doctor about whether the ambulance was necessary.
The doctor said the paramedics were in the best position to assess Will’s condition. So instead he just asked a few questions:
“If this happened at home, would you have called an ambulance or simply driven Will to the hospital?” Tom’s answer: “We would have driven Will our self.”
“Will the ambulance get Will to the hospital any faster than you would?” Tom’s answer: “Probably not.”
“Did you ask the paramedics if there was any reason you couldn’t drive Will to the hospital yourself?” Tom’s answer, “No, but I will.”
“Which hospital are they going to take him to?” Tom’s answer: “I don’t know, but I will ask.” And he did. The paramedics were going to go to the hospital that owns the ambulance service. It was about ten minutes away (6 miles).
The Amazing Difference
When at a third-party location (e.g., a school, office, or sports venue), it’s common for an ambulance to be called quickly. No one wants to take chances with someone else’s life, and everyone is taught to think about liability first. But the truth is that if we were at home and in charge, we’d often handle things very differently. With greater knowledge and self-confidence, combined with Amaze as your partner, we can make better decisions and save money, without taking any more risk. In Will’s case, the ambulance would have billed $1,800 and the hospital they were going to take Will to was not in Tom and Susan’s insurance network.