In a horrifying incident, a Massachusetts woman’s leg got caught in the gap between an Orange Line train and the platform. Despite other commuters’ efforts to get it out, her leg got stuck, twisted and bloodied.
However, as disturbing as the incident sounds, what’s even more concerning was her reaction: The 45-year-old woman, whose name hasn’t been released, reportedly begged people not to call an ambulance ? because of the high cost associated with it.
The woman’s desperate plea at a time when the cost of a ride to the hospital should have been the least of her concerns, served as a grim reminder of the state of the health care in America today.
The video of the incident drew widespread attention when it was released over the weekend by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police (MBTA) Police Department.
The footage showed the chaotic scene unfolding at the Boston’s subway, where fellow passengers gathered to push the train off the woman’s leg. After the coordinated effort of about 10 bystanders, the woman was finally able to pull herself free.
“Do you know how much an ambulance costs?” the injured woman asked one passenger.
This alarming epiphany came to light when a reporter at the Boston Globe, Maria Cramer, tweeted about the incident after witnessing its aftermath.
Awful scene on the orange line. A woman’s leg got stuck in the gap between the train and the platform. It was twisted and bloody. Skin came off. She’s in agony and weeping. Just as upsetting she begged no one call an ambulance. “It’s $3000,” she wailed. “I can’t afford that.”— Maria Cramer (@GlobeMCramer) June 29, 2018
“When I saw her sitting on the platform, she was shaking, crying, in terrible pain and very scared about what this injury would do to her financially,” Cramer posted.
According to the Boston Globe, MBTA officials said the gap between the platform and the train is 5 inches.
Moreover, the police report revealed the woman suffered a “serious laceration, exposing the bone” on her left thigh. She was taken to Boston Medical Center for surgery in an EMS ambulance.
The chief of Boston EMS, Jim Hooley, told the publication the service’s most urgent transport costs for patients typically run between $1,200 and $1,900.
However, according to the Washington Post’s investigation, the ambulance trips can be pretty heavy on the pockets. In fact, some bills found in 2017 exceeded $8,400.
“We just worry about taking care of people,” said Hooley. “We don’t want to cause them more stress. We just want to reassure them that nothing bad is going to happen to them because of their inability to pay.”
The incident speaks volume about the current situation of an average American, who in face of a grave injury is likely to do the math of crippling medical bills, instead of seeking immediate medical assistance. Clearly, the personal well-being took a backseat in face of monumental expenses for even most basic facilities–like a ride to the hospital.
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