Amy Tong Freedom of the Seas Cruise Ship Passenger Illness Death – On Friday, June 30, 2017, at approximately 7:00PM, Amy Tong, 39, and her husband Jerry Ho from Alameda, California, were passengers onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ship Freedom of the Seas for a seven night western Mediterranean cruise.
Amy Tong, who had an autoimmune disease (pre-existing condition which was was allegedly well-controlled) Lupus erythematosus, began complaining of trouble breathing. Her husband, Jerry Ho immediately contacted the ship’s medical office but learned the office was closed.
[An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the body because it confuses it for something foreign. There are many autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).]
When they arrived at the infirmary, the door to the infirmary was locked and none of the ship’s medical personnel were present. About 20 minutes after they arrived, the on-call nurse unlocked the door and examined Mrs. Tong. At the time her oxygen level was 74% and her heart rate was at 134 BPM.
The ships doctor then arrived and elected to perform a number of diagnostic tests including a chest x-ray and to give Mrs. Tong oxygen and treat her with a nebulizer among other things as her condition continued to worsen.
At approximately 9:50PM, Mrs. Tong and Mr. Ho were removed from the ship and brought to land by the Italian Coast Guard to seek treatment ashore.
They arrived ashore at approximately 11:00PM where Mrs. Tong transferred to an Italian Hospital by ambulance. At or about 11:00 PM, Mrs. Tong arrived at the Italian Hospital. At or about 12:15AM, Mrs. Tong passed away from congestive heart failure
On August 29, 2018, Ho filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean in Florida’s Southern District Court. He argues that his wife’s death could have been avoided had the cruise company provided competent medical care aboard the Freedom of the Seas or if they had made the decision to evacuate Tong off the ship sooner.