Micah's medical expenses and trips

On December 5, of 2014, I, along with my 16 year old daughter and my beautiful wife, who was in her early portion of her 22nd weeks of pregnancy, drove from Snellville, Georgia to go on an 8 day cruise out of the Port of Miami. I have been saving for this trip for over 18 months. This trip was to celebrate my 40th birthday and graduating from a prominent University with my Master’s Degree. The ports of call on this cruise were Grand Turks, San Juan, St. Marteen, and St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Is. The trip was going well until 5th day. The night of the 5th day, my wife started having back and belly pains. However, our initial thoughts were her fibroids. From the early stages of the pregnancy, my wife has been battling fibroid issues. 

Apparently, when a woman is pregnant her body produced something called estrogen, which allows fibroids to grow, sometimes rapidly. Because of these fibroids, I have spent several days and nights in doctors’ offices and hospitals emergency rooms with my wife. Therefore, when the pains started we decided to take some of the medication that was prescribed by the doctor and just relax. My wife began spotting, but the spotting was not that deep red color that draws desperate concerns, as being pregnant with fibroid issues, spotting becomes a regular activity. The pain seems as if it was getting worse, so early on the 6th day, I took her to the medical department on the ship (Carnival Breeze). The doctor and his staff did some routine tests, such as blood work and listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

All the tests came back normal except my wife’s blood count; it was low. They gave her some food to eat and rechecked her blood after waiting for little more than an hour. The second test revealed her blood count was still declining. The decision was made to get her off the ship to the closest hospital. They told me that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has been alerted for the airlift at a cost of $16,000. Immediately, I left as if 100 elephants sat on my head. However, Carnival Customer Care Team (The Best) coordinated with the USCG to come and get my wife because her blood count was dropping rapidly. My daughter and I were also tested by the medical staff to see if we have the same blood type as my wife, just in case they have to transfuse her on the ship. Unfortunately, we did not have my wife’s blood type.  Fortunately, the USCG helicopter was only 5 minutes away from the ship. The closest hospital was in Turks and Caicos, which was about 180 miles away. The plan was to airlift my wife via helicopter to Turks and Caicos, get her evaluated, and flew her to Miami where my daughter and I would meet up with her after we picked up our vehicle that we parked at 8400 Parking Lot in Miami. 

This all occurred on Friday, December 12, 2014, and the ship is scheduled to dock at 8:00am Sunday, December 15, 2014. I must say, during this entire ordeal Carnival Care Team was phenomenal. After waiting for about 3 hours for words of my wife, the assistant customer service manager came to my cabin to check on me. He told me the doctor needs to talk to me. I went see the doctor with the assistant manager. When I arrived, the doctor asked me if I had heard anything from my wife. I told him no. He said he has. He told me that the helicopter landed safely on Providenciales Island in Turks and Caicos, my wife is fine, and she gave birth to a baby boy weighing 1lb 4oz. It was a good thing I was sitting down, because I could not feel my leg when I was told this news. About 5 minute later, when my blood began to circulate again, I asked if my wife and the baby were ok. The doctor told me that, the hospital is arranging transportation for the baby to Florida because they do not have the necessary resources to take care of a baby that size. 

A long story short, my wife was not transported to Florida with our baby (Micah). After several hours of enquiring, I was told, my wife had some complications during her delivery and flying is not recommended at this time. Finally, later that day I was able to speak to my wife. She told me due to a ruptured fibroid she lost a lot of blood and was to do a blood transfusion (3 bags). Our son Micah was flown via REVA-AIR (Air-Ambulance out of Florida) to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he is presently. Thanks to Carnival Cruise Line, with their assistance my wife made it safely home from Turks and Caicos to Atlanta Georgia about 3 days later. Micah was born on December 12, 2014, I saw him for about 4 hours after I got off the ship December 15, 2014. However, his mother only saw for a short period of time after birth. Since the delivery, my wife has been in and out of the hospital. She had to undergo another blood transfusion at Gwinnett Medical Center.  Micah is improving daily given the circumstances. However, we have not seen our son since December 15.

This unexpected situation is very distressful for my family and that is why I am asking for any financial assistance I get. I am normally the person on the other end (helping) of the equation. Presently, all of our financial resources are depleted. The donation is to assist with my wife travelling and lodging, as well as to replenish and pay off some of the other bills we incur during this ordeal. Financially all assistances are appreciated. This Christmas did not happen at our home as my wife was in the hospital and our son in another hospital far from us. As we start this New Year, my wish is to be financially able to do the things I must, as well as to accomplish all preplanned goals. If you are not financially able to assist, please pray for me and my family.

Thank you for your time


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Melvin Richards 
Snellville, GA
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