Family Kicked Off Cruise After Loss of Medical Equipment

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MIAMI, Fla. -- A family's vacation was cut short after a cruise ship lost a piece of medical equipment that was imperative to their trip. Lillian Hensley says she hoped to have fun with her family on a Carnival Cruise. But what happened as they embarked on the trip was just the opposite.

"It was a nightmare," Hensley said.

Her daughter Christine is disabled and requires dialysis on a daily basis. Hensley says she got clearance from Carnival to bring a portable dialysis machine onboard.
Once they checked in, she says the ship's staff called to say they couldn't find the family's luggage or the dialysis machine.

"I said 'my daughter cannot live without the dialysis,' Hensley said. They replied, 'well, then, get off the ship. You've got to get off the ship.'  I said, 'I'm not leaving without her equipment and her supplies'."

Hensley said she had to manually perform dialysis at home on her daughter until she could get to a dialysis center two days later.

Carnival issued a statement stating that there was some question at the time that the dialysis machine made it on board. They added, "Given that it is imperative that Ms. Hensley have her dialysis equipment in order to sail, it was decided it would be in her best interest that she disembark the vessel."

Hensley says she feels the employees didn't understand that magnitude of the situation.

"I said, 'without everything? You're giving me like a death sentence for my daughter,' she said. They replied, 'we don't care, you have to go to the emergency room, then.'

She says they never offered an apology and they were eager to get the family off the ship.

The family left the ship, but their equipment and luggage were still onboard.

After the crew doing this story contacted Carnival, they issued an apology for the situation.

Carnival says, "Carnival Cruise Lines sincerely apologizes for this most unfortunate situation and is providing everyone in the Hensley party with a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as a credit for a future five-day cruise with Carnival."

Hensley has contacted her attorney and is considering a lawsuit.

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