U.S. News


Teen Felt Throat Closing, Couldn't Get Fast Help On Cruise

John Stavropoulos needed medical attention while aboard a Carnival Breeze cruise, but his mother couldn't get a hold of anyone.
Posted at 8:53 AM, Jun 17, 2015

Florida teenager John Stavropoulos was having a severe allergic reaction and could feel his throat closing while on the Carnival Breeze cruise ship.

"I got up and I told my parents that I felt like I was inflating. They turned on the lights and it turns out my eyes were nearly shut," Stavropoulos told WFTS.

So the family sought medical attention, but as our partners at WFTS were told, they couldn't get help.

"His mother Lisa immediately dialed 911," the WFTS reporter said.

"The first time it rang five times, nobody picked up, and then I called guest services, nobody picked up, then I called, there's a medical line, nobody picked up," John Stavropoulos' mother, Lisa, said.

Lisa didn't want to use an EpiPen because it would require immediate medical attention after it was injected. Medical attention they couldn't seem to find.

"Eventually the family reached an operator who had a nurse call them back," the reporter said.

"Nobody would say, even the nurse, would say 'come, come down," Lisa said.

"Another passenger, not a Carnival employee directed them to the ship's medical clinic," the reporter said.

Once the teen was at the clinic, things were taken care of, but Lisa said it was getting there that was the issue.

The Carnival Breeze carries nearly 3,700 people, and according to the Carnival website, medical staff is available 24 hours a day, but may be limited.

"The Medical Center is equipped to treat minor non-emergency matters. Physicians are available to render services at a customary fee."

Carnival did provide a response to WFTS on the matter. It read, in part:

"We are checking with the ship’s medical team to gather additional information on what transpired the night that the Stavropolous’ son was treated by the ship’s medical team. We apologize for any difficulty the family may have experienced while on board."