Seattle Man’s Journey of a Lifetime Ends With Crash in China; MEDJET Assistance Gets Him Home Safe and Sound


SEATTLE, WAMay 31, 2002 – Mike Paull left Seattle on May 10 for Shanghai, China and what was to be the journey of a lifetime – a two-month, 13,000-mile motorcycle ride across Asia and Eastern Europe. Paull’s trip ended a week later with an accident that resulted in three broken ribs, a fractured collarbone and internal bleeding.


Immediately following the accident, Paull, 48, was taken to the only medical care available – a hospital in Dezhou, China. Not knowing how he was going to get home to the proper medical care he so needed and desired, Paull contacted MEDJET Assistance.


“I joined MEDJET Assistance just prior to my trip,” said Paull. “Once I contacted them, I was able to rest easier. They took care of everything. They monitored the medical care I was receiving in China, made all of the transportation arrangements and had me back home in Seattle in several days.”


MEDJET Assistance is an annual membership program providing air medical transportation to its members should they become hospitalized due to accident or illness virtually anywhere in the world. The program transports members, free of charge, to the hospital of their choice, most often in medically equipped and staffed jets.


Paull was taken via ambulance on a five-hour ride to a Beijing hospital where he stayed for several days. Paull’s wife Aillene, who had been vacationing in Japan, joined him there. When his medical situation stabilized, the couple was flown home to Seattle and the University of Washington Medical Center.


“Many people believe their travel insurance policy will immediately transport them home should they require hospitalization,” said Roy Berger, president of Birmingham, Ala.-based MEDJET Assistance. “But the truth is that most insurance policies only cover you for transportation to the nearest hospital, which in Paull’s case was not up to the standards we’re used to in the United States. As a member of MEDJET Assistance, we’ll fly you home regardless of medical necessity to the hospital of your choice.”


Paull has been home for about 10 days now and is still recuperating. He believes if he were not a MEDJET Assistance member, he might still be in China. “I am deeply grateful to the staff at MEDJET Assistance,” said Paull. “They handled everything quickly and professionally. I’m amazed at their level of service.”


In operation since 1991, MEDJET Assistance currently has more than 50,000 members, with membership growing at a rate of approximately 25 percent a year. Annual membership is $195 for an individual or $295 for a family.


In addition to medical transportation, MEDJET Assistance provides a number of travel services to its members, including medical referrals; medical monitoring and consultation; language interpretation; emergency message relay; legal referrals; visa, passport and immunization information; and transportation of mortal remains.


“As more people learn of us, they’re realizing that this is a remarkably smart and affordable way to protect themselves and their family,” said Berger.


MEDJET Assistance is a worldwide air medical evacuation and emergency consultation service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members are guaranteed transport to the hospital of their choice, anytime they are more than 150 miles away from home – either in the U.S. or abroad – and hospitalized. Unlike many insurance or platinum card plans, MEDJET Assistance is the only medical evacuation program that will transport members regardless of medical necessity. Lloyd's of London underwrites the MEDJET Assistance membership program to guarantee every member a transport – no matter the cost, no matter the location. For more information about MEDJET Assistance or to sign-up call 800-963-3538 or visit


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Note to editors: Roy Berger and Mike Paull are available for interviews. Photographs are also available of Mike Paull and MEDJET Assistance aircraft.


For more information, contact:

Michael Checkoway

Hayslett Sorrel

770.522.8855, ext. 220