Courthouse News reports today on a disturbing story regarding a cruise passenger's death due to what is alleged to be delayed and inadequate shipboard medical care.
The story involves John and Victoria Showers who sailed from Miami on a Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream.
After leaving Miami, Ms. Showers complained of constipation. She went ashore in Cozumel, the following day, where she purchased laxatives that didn't help her. The article states that Ms. Showers experienced severe abdominal pain while back on the cruise ship. The following morning, Mr. Showers called the ship's medical personnel, who eventually sent a wheelchair to their cabin and took Ms. Showers to the infirmary.
But instead of seeing a ship doctor, Ms. Showers was seen by who appears to be a nurse who did not take a history, or take her vital signs, or examine her according to Mr. Showers. All the cruise employee did, according to the article, was to give Ms. Showers two fleet enemas.
When the ship doctor finally saw Ms. Showers later in the afternoon, he diagnosed a bowel obstruction after examining her. The ship doctor recommended she she be seen at a medical center in Belize where crew members are treated.
Once Ms. Showers was ashore in Belize City, the doctors there stated that they could not provide emergency treatment for her. Mr. Showers had to arrange for emergency medical evacuation of his wife to Miami.
The doctors in Miami found that fecal matter had entered Ms. Showers abdominal cavity, causing an infection and other severe complications. Following hospitalization from November 4th and many surgeries later, Ms. Showers died on December 22nd.
We have written many articles about bad medical care on cruise ships and in the Caribbean, and the difficulties holding cruise lines responsible for medical malpractice. Read: If The Ship Doctor Kills You, Too Bad