The death of Yulia Akusheva, a Yekaterinburg woman, while vacationing with her fiance in Egypt in February, was discussed throughout the Urals and far beyond its borders. Lovers extended their vacation due to a lockdown in the UK.
They were going to get married, but the early honeymoon ended in tragedy. Julia ended up in a coma and died. Her relatives could not take her to Russia for treatment, although they did more for this than was possible. We spoke with the participants in the story, and also discussed with experts if Yulia could have been saved if she had insurance or if the treatment had gone differently.
When Jason Mattock talks about Yula, his voice trembles and tears come to his eyes. The fit Briton with gray hair in short stubble recalls the romantic story of his acquaintance with the Ural beauty. Yulia Akusheva, a successful manager, an independent and free woman, flew to rest in Turkey, which was one of the first countries to open its borders during a pandemic.
– We met last summer. She was in Turkey with her aunt, and I spent most of the summer there with friends. We got to talking on the day when I was supposed to return home. It was Friday. I flew to Gatwick (London airport – Ed.) And immediately took a return ticket to Turkey. We spent four days together and then went home. In the fall we returned to Turkey together, spent twelve days there, – says Jason.
Julia was an experienced traveler and traveled abroad at least twice a year.
The lovers did not want to be apart for a long time, and soon they again went to the sea together, this time to Egypt, to celebrate the New Year together.
“We planned to stay in Egypt for four weeks, but we had such a great time that we decided to stay for another four,” says Jason Mattock (according to Julia’s brother, the vacation was extended due to a lockdown. – Ed.). – And then we were going to go home: I’m to the United Kingdom, and she to Russia. I hoped that she would move, that we would live together.
The plans were so serious that Jason proposed to Yulia and presented her with a diamond ring.
The ring that Jason gave Julia, he gave her to her family
But they were not destined to start a family in Surrey, where Mattock lives. The love story ended tragically at the very beginning. One day, when Julia and Jason were sitting at the table, he noticed that she had something with her lip.
– She ate, and her lip was slightly lowered. We didn’t think about the stroke because everything else was fine. Then she began to nasal a little, her voice changed. This went on for a couple of days. Then we went to the hospital. The doctors said it was a stroke and wanted to hospitalize her. But she refused, – says Jason.
From the hospital, the couple returned to the hotel. Julia took pills, but her condition did not improve. The doctor told Jason on the phone that he was recovering from a stroke and that it was okay. However, the situation began to deteriorate and Jason called the doctor again.
Jason said that Julia promised him that they would go to the doctor in the morning.
If you suspect a stroke, be sure to be treated in a hospital. According to the neurologist Vadim Gusev, such norms are valid in all countries.
– With signs of a stroke, hospitalization is indicated, this is necessary, because the first hours and days are the most favorable for treatment. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion, it is necessary to seek medical help, a non-specialist in this case cannot help. Even being in Egypt could have provoked a stroke. A sharp change in climate and time zones is a separate risk factor for the occurrence of any pathology, exacerbation of chronic and acute vascular diseases, says Gusev.
Very simple rules will help reduce the likelihood of stroke.
For what happened next, Jason blames himself. In the morning he woke up and saw that Yulia was lying in bed unconscious. He immediately called the hospital, the ambulance took her to the intensive care unit.
Jason’s WhatsApp avatar has a picture of him with Julia
– I don’t understand how it happened … Before she was admitted to the hospital, there were no visible injuries, she was not all yellow. I think they [in the hospital] gave her something wrong. She was unconscious, did not wake up … It does not fit in my head, – Jason cannot finish and begins to cry.
Jason and Julia come to Egypt to celebrate the New Year together
Julia had no insurance. It is not known whether she arranged it for the first part of the vacation or initially refused insurance.
In addition to a stroke, Julia was diagnosed with a brain tumor and drug-induced cirrhosis of the liver. She was in a coma, the doctors said that her condition was critical. Jason Mattock managed to send a message to Yulia’s cousin Pavel Korshunov in Yekaterinburg from his girlfriend’s phone.
Paul went to Egypt hoping that he could transport his sister home. The first thing he did was to contact the Russian Consulate General in Hurghada to get help.
– I came to the Russian embassy, everything is closed. The guards are sitting, they say, I can’t wait for anything, you need to write an official appeal to the site. I wrote, explained the situation, I did not receive an electronic answer. Then he stopped at the embassy again, found no one. I can’t get an appointment, phones don’t answer, there is no round-the-clock communication to help citizens, they don’t answer the intercom in the embassy building, the consulate has been closed for three days already, – this is how Pavel Korshunov described what was happening in mid-February in an interview with E1.RU.
In the end, he still managed to get an appointment.
Pavel Korshunov flew to Hurghada when he learned that his sister was in trouble
– I don’t know why the Consulate General didn’t help with the delivery of Julia to her homeland. When I arrived in Hurghada, it was immediately clear that they would not help us there. In order to transport a citizen to Russia on board the Emergencies Ministry, a state of emergency must be declared in the country, – says Pavel.
From the very beginning, Yulia’s friends and family were looking for options to return her to her homeland. They were even able to agree on the lease of an aircraft from the Ministry of Emergencies with a team of Moscow doctors. The liner with all the necessary equipment on board was ready for departure. It would cost four and a half million rubles.
On the first day in Hurghada, Pavel discovered the closed gates of the Consulate General of Russia
– This is the normal price for the service of transporting a patient from another country. After all, the entire plane or part of it is booked in order to provide the necessary service. But, if the tourist had insurance, she would be able to cover such a thing, – commented travel agent Dmitry Dengolts.
In November, an ambulance paramedic from Yekaterinburg, Marina Spitsyna, died while on vacation in Turkey. On the trip, she fell ill with coronavirus and could not defeat the infection, although she was also admitted to the hospital. According to her sister Tatyana Baluta, Marina had insurance.
– My sister and I went to Turkey on a voucher, she had insurance, and all medical care was included in the insured event. She was in the hospital under insurance, she was even brought to Russia under the policy. But in Turkey it is more organized than in Egypt, – said Marina.
Julia was in a coma for 10 days
According to Pavel, relatives were ready to spend millions to save Julia. But circumstances developed differently.
– We would have found the money, somehow we were spinning. But all the daily protocols that we received from Egyptian doctors and every day sent for examination to doctors in Moscow, said that the condition is extremely serious, it is impossible to transport Julia, – explains Pavel.
Jason all this time stayed with Yulia and helped Pavel as much as he could.
“He works in a company that deals with landscape design for private houses,” says Pavel.
The brother managed to negotiate with the head physician of the clinic so that he would allow Russian doctors to perform an operation before transportation. To do this, you would have to sign a refusal to remove responsibility from the clinic. It was planned that Russian specialists would carry out the initial intervention, and in Moscow they would already put her on her feet.
Julia loved flowers
But that did not happen. Julia never came out of a coma. She passed away on the night of February 22nd.
– Yulia was 41 years old, she is a year younger than me.
– She has never had any serious health problems. At the commemoration, all friends remembered how kind she was, did not turn away from other people’s problems, always helped people. Thanks to the company and its colleagues, who covered the transportation costs for the return of the body to Yekaterinburg, – says Pavel. – Thanks to everyone who helped us these days, especially the lawyer Tatyana Zavyalova, Yulia Korelina, the attaché of the Russian Consulate General in Hurghada, Alexey Zhilyaev.
– She was responsible, responsive, loved her staff! And the staff loved her. Julia was at first a manager in Yekaterinburg, then she became a manager in Chelyabinsk. As a person she was cheerful, kind, loved to travel! All three clubs raised money to help her, we were very worried, – says Yulia’s colleague Elena.
Yulia’s treatment in a private clinic in Hurghada was expensive: the hospital was transferred 7.5 thousand dollars for 10 days in intensive care.
The Russian Consulate General in Hurghada eventually helped Pavel deliver the remains of his sister to his homeland. The body was brought from Egypt to Russia at the expense of the state, and the flight from Moscow to Yekaterinburg was taken over by the employer. Jason returned to England with a broken heart, he took the tragedy very hard. She and Paul correspond and support each other.
How to protect yourself on vacation
Julia’s case is special, her vacation lasted longer than planned, and when the wedding is ahead, then the thoughts in her head are definitely not about insurance, especially since she had no reason to fear for her health. However, experts insist that insurance for any traveler is an essential service.
– My friend had an accident in India. She had insurance, and even though she did not receive help from the company right away, she was able to get money through the court, – says travel agent Dmitry Dengolts, – When I flew with friends abroad, I insisted that they take insurance. Registration during the trip is 2-3 times more expensive, and it takes effect after one or two days.
According to the specialist, even having insurance does not guarantee protection. It is very important to study the insurance contract while still in Russia. There are heightened risks that companies are trying to protect themselves from even with an agreement. For example, they will do their best not to refund money in case of treatment after a traffic accident with a moped in India. It is better to find out about this in advance from the contract and buy additional insurance for such an event.
It is better not to travel without an insurance policy.
– You can’t save on insurance. Often these services seem to be expensive, 99% of the insured event does not occur. But in Russia, insurance companies do not provide much choice when covering insured events, so you need to use bonus programs. They need to be studied in order to be prepared for an emergency situation and to know in advance what the tourist is insured against.
It’s hard to be sober when traveling. However, it significantly increases your chances of getting paid for an insured event. Very few companies cover the cost if an emergency occurs while the person is drunk, Dengolts said. The presence of alcohol in the blood can serve as an excuse to refuse insurance payments.
– Insurance is not a panacea, as in the case of CASCO and OSAGO, the insurance company will look for an excuse not to return the money to the tourist, warns Dengolts.
According to him, it is better to contact companies whose services are more expensive. Saving can only hurt.
On the road, you need to think over several possible emergencies and determine the algorithm of your actions. Insurance is also required on some travels in Russia. For example, if you decide to relax in the mountains, even for a couple of days, it is better to pay for insurance, then you will not have to pay for the evacuation by helicopter to the hospital.