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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Disaster at Hampton Court - Praise Britain's Socialized Medicine

Cassie's ambulance and Kingston Hospital.

Lulu at Hampton Court spinning and turning into Wonder Women.

One of the grand finale's of Lulu's program in London is to take the students to Hampton Court - the home castle of Henry VIII - yeah the guy with all the wives. I had other plans - so the class boarded the train at Waterloo Station and headed 20 miles up the Thames River.

Around lunch - student Cassie - started feeling stomach pain. After a trip to the first aid center at the castle things got worse quickly. Lulu decided to get Cassie on the train and take her back to the safety of our apartments and the local University of London hospital. The two of them got on the train - but didn't get far.

Cassie's pain had her doubled over and she needed quicker attention. Lulu dialed 999 right from the train. They told her to get off at the next station - and medical help was on the way. At the next station - it only took a couple minutes when the emergency team arrived. Before you could say - socialized medicine - they were in the ambulance on the way to the Kingston Hospital.

As they zoomed thru the streets - laughing gas and oxygen were administered. Lulu did not want to be an ugly American - but she questioned why the lights and siren were not going. The driver said is was illegal unless it was a life threatening situation. Almost on cue - Cassie started having number 10 pains and she began wailing. All of a sudden the lights and sirens were competing with her. They were at the hospital in seconds.

Just like Jesus - Lulu had abandoned the 99 sheep at the castle - and stayed with Cassie for the day. More blood tests and urine tests were done. Finally a morphine drip send Cassie to a better place. The pain settled down and Cassie settled up.

Meanwhile - Lulu was in close contact with FSU. She kept calling the apartment for me - but in the confusion - the phone kept dialing a grocery store. Lulu and I had dinner show tickets for 5:30. She was concerned I would be sitting and waiting. She quickly texted Drew back in the states and he forwarded information to me via computer chat. I got the message. You know you hit the big time when you have show tickets you will not use and you don't rush out onto the sidewalk to try to scalp them. Even if the tickets were only worth 20 pounds each (for dinner and show) - we ate them.

Around 6PM - the doctor declared Cassie dehydrated - gave her medications - and send her home. Lulu whipped out the FSU credit card - but the hospital was dumbfounded. All they wanted was the patients name - birthday - and address. Lulu asked for a case number. The hospital said there was no charge and no bill would be sent. Socialized medicine covers all emergency room visits and all ambulance services. Treatment was gratis from the people of Britain!

They caught a cab home. The 40 pound cab fee was more than the entire emergency. Lulu offered Cassie the option of spending the night in our spare bedroom - but she wanted to get back with her friends.

Since Hampton Court has such beautiful gardens - the class assignment included pictures of flowers. As Cassie was leaving the hospital - she got a great shot of the Kingston Hospital sign ----- surounded by flowers.

Click on DISASTER in the title to see Cassie's version of the story.

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