The world is now your oyster – or, if you need it to be, your dialysis machine. And it’s all thanks to a writer who had a near death experience at a man’s AirBnb.
The famous Argentinian penman Hernan Casciari was staying at the home of Javier Artigas through AirBnb in Montevideo, Uruguay when he had a sudden heart attack. Artigas and his wife Alejandra, who worked for the Uruguayan parliament, arranged for a police escort to take Casciari to the hospital. The couple even donated blood to help with their guest’s treatment.
Once Casciari was released from the hospital and sent home to Argentina, he left Javier and his wife a sparkling 5-star review on AirBnB, reading:
“Excellent house for sedentary travelers prone to myocardial infarctions. The area is beautiful and has direct access to the best hospitals. Javier and Alejandra instantly become guardian angels who will save your life without even knowing you. They will rush you to the hospital in their own car while you’re dying and stay in the waiting room while doctors give you a bypass. They don’t want you to feel lonely, they bring you books to read and they let you stay in their house extra nights without charging you. Highly recommend.”
Artigas is no stranger to suffering from medical emergencies while traveling abroad either. He was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2007, and for years, he would have to undergo multiple dialysis appointments per week in order to stave off death.
That’s why he created Connectus: an innovative app that connects travelers with kidney disease to hospitals near to their vacation spots.
The app was the birthchild of a harrowing trip that Javier once took to Argentina, where no hospital was able to give him dialysis due to his lack of residency. After twelve long hours, a hospital finally agreed to give Javier dialysis and save his life.
On his 2,000-kilometer flight home, Javier came up with the idea for Connectus; so the stress the he endured on the trip would never happen to anyone else.
Casciari’s review, along with news of Artigas’s app, was eventually forwarded to AirBnB’s cofounder Joe Gebbia. Gebbia flew down to Montevideo in 2016 so he could stay with Artigas and ask him all about Casciari’s heart attack, Artigas’s medical experiences, and the app. After listening to Artigas’s stories, Gebbia offered to go into business with him.
Now with the added financial might of AirBnb, Connectus (newly-dubbed ConnectusMedical) has grown to serve over 250,000 people.
The good news doesn’t stop there, either – according to the BBC, Artigas received a kidney transplant in August 2017 and he no longer needs dialysis.
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Reprint (Photo by Javier Artigas)