Redpoint medics assist Ripcord client with renal failure on safari in Mozambique

Posted on Posted in Medical Advisory, Medical Evacuation

‘Are you willing to get yourself killed for a hundred bucks?’


A Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance (a Redpoint Resolutions brand) client, Wayne Dawson, was just starting his safari in Mozambique when he began feeling feverish and experienced difficulty urinating. When he arrived at camp and started to feel very sick and dehydrated, the guide said that he was in no condition to continue on the trip.

Wayne agreed, and called his tour operator to re-arrange his flight back to Johannesburg so he could get checked out at a local hospital. Meanwhile, his wife Kathy, who is a nurse, activated Wayne’s Ripcord program by calling the Redpoint Resolutions medical staff to alert them about his condition.

Wayne explains:

Mike, my friend of thirty years, and traveling companion, called my wife Kathy, He told her that I didn’t look good and that we were returning to Johannesburg. Kathy, a nurse anesthetist, called Redpoint Resolutions’ medical team.

Kathy later recalled, “My heart dropped into my stomach when I heard the news. But knowing the Redpoint staff was there taking care of Wayne, and keeping me updated about his condition, allowed me to focus on what I was doing.”

Redpoint dispatched the leader of their Africa operations team. He met me at the airport in Johannesburg, and transported Mike and me to a state of the art hospital, where Redpoint had prearranged my admission to the ER.

The doc looked me over and asked Mike if he knew my next of kin. I was stabilized and moved to the Intensive Care Unit. My doctor explained that I had experienced complete renal failure. He expected my kidneys to return to full function but until that point I must remain hospitalized. On my own I risked dehydration, and a possible heart attack. Fortunately, I responded to treatment and was released five days later.

Redpoint’s team visited me and called Kathy daily. When my doctor cleared me to fly and discharged me from the hospital, the Redpoint team was there. They transported Mike and me to the airport, presented the proper documentation to the airline supervisor which allowed me to check in, and saw me boarded. Thirty hours later Mike and I arrived home in west Texas. Redpoint had already called to determine if I had arrived home safely.

Redpoint had the logistics in place when my medical issue arose. Start to finish the Redpoint team was outstanding.

The take-away from all this is to be prepared for the unexpected. We’ve all prepared for the possibility of a buffalo charge, snake bite, malaria, and we certainly wouldn’t go on safari if we knew we had a medical condition that could lay us out.


I had never spent a single night in a hospital until this episode in Johannesburg. I was fortunate to have good people around me, my friend Mike, my tour operator, travel agent, and the Redpoint team. They all worked together to get me home.”

Wayne and his wife have since re-booked the trip for later this year, and purchased a new comprehensive Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance policy from Redpoint.

I had never purchased travel insurance before, but my wife convinced me for that first trip,” Wayne said. “You’ve got to ask yourself the question:Are you going to come back alive, or are you going to get yourself killed out there for a few hundred bucks?’”

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines the best medevac and rescue insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Ripcord is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.