Emilie, your Personal Health Planner
Hello, I am Emilie and I am a Medical Tourism Italy’s Personal Health Planner.
I started my journey as a Personal Health Planner in October 2018. Being a “people person” it all came to me pretty naturally. There is no better feeling than going home every night knowing you have helped people dealing with what they have to go through on a daily basis. The first patient I followed taught me everything I needed to know on how tough CRPS warriors are. She is, to this day, the strongest 17 years old girl I have ever met.
After that, I have been a Personal Health Planner to 14 patients and counting, of all ages, from 11 to 65 years old. Coming from all around the world: the USA, Canada, the United Kingdoms, France and Australia!
Every single patient has been a completely different experience. Everyone has his own story and his own ways to deal with the disease. Emotionally, the bond created between ourselves and the patients we follow is indescribable. I have found myself being a confidant, a big sister, even a daughter to some. Patients need to be heard, and understood. Dealing with a pathology that is so rare, and still unknown in most parts of the world is one of the hardest parts of their story.
We have studied so much to make sure we understood every single aspect of the diseases we treat and how they affect patients physically, but also mentally. More than once, on first contact over the phone, I was told by patients in tears how much of a relief it was to finally talk to someone who knew, someone who understood. That is always the first step in the long lasting, beautiful connection that is built between a patient and his Health Planner.
Our goal isn’t only to make the patient feel well followed and organize his whole trip, it is also to make him feel safe in a country that isn’t his, in a situation where most would feel vulnerable. To do so, we had to make sure we were selecting the best teams to work with. The doctors and the nursing personnel, the staff at all the hotels we have conventions with and of course, last but not least, the Health Planners. At the office, I am surrounded by such beautiful people, on a daily basis. They have had their share of experience with patients too and have all grown so much on personal levels because of it. They are the most empathic people I have ever met. All together, we have created a large team of people whose only focus is the patient and his wellbeing.
The word that comes back the most when we ask our patients about the whole experience? Family. That is the feeling of being surrounded not only by people who care, but also a hospital team who treats them like a person, and not another number in the system.
Further to their treatment, we always stay in touch with every patient for about six months. In order to monitor their improvements, and stay at disposal in case of any doubt that might need to be translated to the doctor who treated their case in Italy. But if we are being honest, we also do it for the joy it brings us: Hearing that a mother held her child in her arms for the first time since her CRPS diagnosis; a daughter passed her driving license after struggling with RSD in her leg for 4 long years; a young woman was able to wear a shirt on her affected shoulder for the first time in 3 years and a half… these are the reasons why we do what we do.
I have met the most beautiful people I know working for MTI. From my own team to all the patients I have followed and the one I met, even for a minute. Fighting the most painful chronic pain illness known in medicine, finding the strength to fly to another country and doing so with the largest smiles you can think of*… They are the real heroes.
The responsibility of a Personal Health Planner is a big one, his empathy knows no limits, but the personal connection created with each individual has simply no price.