By Sandra Quinn
Calling home is something we often take for granted, but recently while on honeymoon in Thailand, this writer truly appreciated the importance of a reliable and affordable telecommunications service.
I have arthritis and it is known to get worse with severe changes in air pressure, so I had packed a small emergency pack of medicines to cover most eventualities.
I had thought this pack would be needed by me and not by my new husband, who is notoriously healthy and has an annoyingly effective immune system.
We were in Thailand for a total of 15 days and before leaving, I checked with my mobile provider in Ireland (full discloser, it is Eir) and they don’t provide a roaming service, at all, not even as an extortionately priced add-on, in Asia.
They advised using Wifi – not really a solution in my opinion.
Then the Limerick-based telecommunications company Horizon Globex advised me that their Globex Call app can be used to call mobiles, landlines, send text messages, videos, audio, and images while away for very little cost and using very little internet.
A solution in a matter of minutes was presented and it wasn’t even from my own mobile provider.
For me, I had to download the Globex Call app onto mine and Daniel’s phones, set up our profiles, which took a few seconds, top it up with credit (we put in $40 each to be safe) and then we could use it to call anyone from anywhere in the world. The call recipient doesn’t need the app to receive the call and it costs the recipient nothing, but the caller is using internet to make the call.
At first, this was a great novelty as we could call home and let them know we were safe and sound in our various lay-overs and flights.
We went to Bangkok first for two nights, then off to Phuket for ten nights – it was in our last hour in Bangkok after Daniel consumed a few dodgy half-cooked fish goujons that things took a turn.
Daniel had of course contracted food poisoning and was nearly on his deathbed (OK slight exaggeration for the storytelling effect) for about 16 hours. Sixteen very rough stressful hours, as he was vomiting and needing very quick access to a bathroom during our time in the airport, while on the 1-hour flight and during our 1.5 hour taxi transfer to the hotel.
Our first night in Phuket was not as I had imagined, but I was certainly living up to my promise of ’through sickness and health’.
After about ten hours while he slept as much as he could, his fluid intake was dangerously low, his fever kept spiking and it was at the chilling moment when his breathing became shallow and raspy that I panicked.
I didn’t know what to do. I had the medicine, but wasn’t confident enough to give it to him, nor would he have taken my medical advice without question and argument.
I didn’t want to ring either of the parents at home, as they wouldn’t have been able to do anything but worry and that wouldn’t get me or Daniel anywhere.
So, using the Globex Call app, I called my own GP, but as my service provider didn’t allow for me to receive calls, I left a message explaining my crisis, asked the GP clinic to text me when the GP was free to talk and I then rang the clinic. All the while checking on Daniel and keeping an eye on time, as we were a full seven hours ahead.
Following the GP’s stellar advice to a T (thanks Woodbrook Family Practice in Newmarket, Co Cork), Daniel came out of his almost coma-like state two hours later and within another ten hours we were soaking up the sunshine, exploring Phuket by scooter and enjoying every minute of our honeymoon.
Globex Call wasn’t just an app for us, it was a lifeline to home – it could have been the thing that saved my husband.
Without it, Daniel would have to have gone to hospital in Thailand where we didn’t speak the language or know the health system.
Without it I may have been writing headlines about losing my husband to a grave illness while on honeymoon.
If I was to give you one piece of advice it would be to pop into the App Store on your smart phone and download the Globex Call app now. You just don’t know when you’ll need it.
Globex Call was our lifeline and it could be yours too.