Cynthia Braaf’s 30th anniversary cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship with her husband, Humphrey, ended up being her last. A lawsuit filed by her family alleges the cruise line is responsible because the medical care they provided was shoddy.
“The cruise was the start of all the things we had planned together. Our kids had just grown up. We were going to go to Israel – we had a lot of things planned,” Mr. Braaf told the New Times. “But I guess if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Mr. Braaf filed the lawsuit against Royal Caribbean in Florida’s Southern District alleging Mrs. Braaf would still be alive if the cruise line had provided adequate medical care while they were aboard the ship. The ship’s doctors could have airlifted Mrs. Braaf to a hospital when they realized how gravely ill she was. But they delayed the decision to evacuate her.
The Braafs were several days into their cruise when, on Nov. 10, 2017, Mr. Braaf contacted the ship’s infirmary and told them that his wife, who had well-managed diabetes, was feeling lethargic and had slurred speech. A nurse came to their room and found Mrs. Braaf hyperventilating and hypothermic, with a blood sugar level of 419 – well above what is considered normal. She was diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication in which too much acid builds up in the blood. Ketoacidosis can be fatal without immediate medical attention.
Mrs. Braaf’s symptoms quickly worsened over the next 80 minutes. When the ship’s doctor arrived, he administered two units of insulin and 50 mL of sodium bicarbonate, an electrolyte replacement treatment.
When the Freedom of the Seas returned to Port Everglades, a seaport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mrs. Braaf was transferred to Broward General Hospital by ambulance, but by the time she arrived at the emergency department, she was unresponsive and intubated. She was pronounced dead in the early morning hours of Nov. 12, 2017.
“Had Cynthia Braaf received the appropriate care and treatment,” Mr. Braaf’s lawsuit states, “she more than likely would not have died.”
Source: Miami New Times