Kim Covington shares her cruise catastrophe story

Kim Covington shares her story about having a medical emergency while stuck on a cruise ship and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

It's vacation season and more than 20 million of us are expected to climb aboard a cruise ship this year but it's not always smooth sailing.

Kim Covington covered countless dramatic stories in her 11 years as a 12 News anchor and reporter but she was at the center of a real-life drama during her cruise catastrophe in 2003.

"Who can turn a ship around? I did!"

Covington was five -onths pregnant and suddenly in danger of going into premature labor. It started at dinner.

"All of a sudden I got a sharp pain in my belly and I couldn't even walk it was that bad." Covington said.

The nearest hospital was on a nearby island.

"The ship physician said 'your baby could die and you could die. We need to get you off this ship now.'" Covington said. "So they dumped us off the ship in a tugboat."

Once she made it ashore to the Cayman Islands hospital, the nightmare wasn't over yet. She had a long wait until a doctor could see her because no one was even at the hospital. She was told everyone had taken a break to go to the theater.

Once a doctor returned to examine her, he said "'Oh madam, it's only severe constipation.' I'm like 'What? Constipation!' 'But we don't have any medication to treat you. You're going to have to get the medication in the states. There is one flight leaving tomorrow morning at nine o'clock and you've got to be on it.'"

Covington still hasn't returned to a cruise ship since but would like to give it another try.

"I would love to go back on a cruise. There's no way I'm going to be pregnant," she said.

Not every trip turns into a catastrophe but before you pack your bags, you might think about travel insurance just in case. It can cover everything from natural disasters to medical emergencies. Consumer Reports recommends going through an online broker such as insuremytrip.com.

Two days after this story was first published, The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority released a statement regarding the incident.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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