A Miracle Child


A 12-year-old Japanese boy was enjoying his holiday with his family when he lost consciousness in the sea off Langkawi Island, Malaysia. His family were unable to speak the language and did not have the sufficient funds for medical expenses. Our evacuation of the child to a medical facility that was able to treat him meant he was able to regain consciousness after a week’s coma.

Service: Assistance: Medical monitoring; Medical evacuation; Guarantee of medical expenses; Hospital admission; Emergency message transmission; Arranged accommodation for family visit; Arranged for a Japanese translator

Location: Langkawi Island, Malaysia


The boy was found facing downwards by hotel staff in the sea off Langkawi Island. The hotel administered first aid as he was unconscious but he did not respond to the treatment. He was taken to the nearest hospital in a hotel car but it was closed due to the Chinese New Year, a public holiday in Malaysia. 

The child suffered a fit during the one-hour journey before arriving at the next hospital. He received emergency treatment at the Accident & Emergency department upon arrival. Due to language difficulty, they did not understand their son’s condition. In addition, a nurse manually ventilated their son as an automated ventilator was unavailable at the hospital. 

This alarmed his parents, who then sought help from his father's company.

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The Authorised Person at the company, activated the International SOS Tokyo Assistance Centre, and a co-ordinating doctor recommended a medical transfer to a larger hospital on the mainland in the state of Kedah to stabilize his condition.

As the family were not carrying sufficient money in local currency, the International SOS Tokyo Assistance Centre guaranteed the payment of medical expenses.

Meanwhile, The Singapore Assistance Centre secured an intensive care unit (ICU) bed at a specialist children's hospital and included a Japanese doctor in the medical escort team. International SOS then approached their insurer to approve the cost of the medical evacuation.

The International SOS ICU medical escort team comprising arrived punctually to transfer the child and his father to Singapore.


The biggest challenge was to transfer him from a non-conventional ventilatory support to a conventional one and maintaining his vitals required very high external life support.

However, he arrived safely and was immediately warded at the intensive care unit at the children's hospital. He regained consciousness after a week and recovered from his treatment at the hospital.


“Thanks to International SOS’ strong global support system and the appropriate judgment of their dedicated staff, a young and precious life was saved, and were reminded again of the value and importance of International SOS in international medical assistance. On behalf of my company, I would like to express my profound gratitude and also ask for your continued strong support going forward.” - Japanese client