Middle East Cruise News

TUI Cruises suffers medical emergency during first Dubai cruise of season

TUI Cruises, the first cruise line to arrive in the Arabian Gulf for the 2021/22 Dubai cruise season, suffered a medical emergency while in port after a member of the crew had to be evacuated to hospital.

TUI Cruises’ ship Mein Schiff 6 was alongside in Dubai when a member of her crew suffered a medical emergency and had to be rushed to hospital, according to local media reports.

Mein Schiff 6 alongside in Dubai

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Mein Schiff 6 was on the final day of her 7-night roundtrip cruise from Dubai, the first of the winter cruise season in the Arabian Gulf, when a nurse aboard the ship collapsed.

Sophie Marie Troester, 27, had suffered an attack of a rare and serious form of hemiplegic migraine that presents with symptoms similar to a stroke.

“It felt like a thunderstorm inside my head,” Troester told The National. “I was reading a book lying on my bed, and my vision started to blur. I understood that the migraine was kicking in, and I needed help. I had a previous experience.”

Sophie Marie Troester with Dr. Anas Abdul Majeed at Medeor Hospital in Dubai

Troester had suffered from mild migraines before, but this was the first time she lost control of the right side of her body

“I tried to pick up my phone and ring my friend. My muscles had become weak. I could not hold the phone in my hand and it kept falling,” she said. “I had to try hard, and somehow, I managed to make a call. But all I could utter was a single word: hospital.”

The attack caused her to collapse and she was rushed to Medeor Hospital, where doctors diagnosed her condition and administered emergency treatment.

Troester was treated by Dr Anas Abdul Majeed, a consultant neurologist at Medeor Hospital, who said migraines affected about 15% of the population.

Mein Schiff 6 alongside in Dubai

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“She had the sequential pattern, which helped in the diagnosis,” he said. “The hallmark of hemiplegic migraine is one-sided weakness accompanied by a migraine attack.”

“It begins with a visual symptom followed successively by abnormal sensation, muscle weaknesses and difficulty in speaking,” Dr Anas added. “Each symptom evolves over 20 to 30 minutes and may take hours to subside.”

Troester has fully recovered and returned to the ship, but she must now take medication to avoid further attacks.

Mein Schiff 6 will remain in the region, sailing 7-night roundtrip cruises from Dubai until March. She is one of five cruise ships homeporting in Dubai for the current 2021/22 cruise season.

Although Dubai welcomed almost 1-million cruise tourists per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical emergencies are rare. The last incident was in March, 2019 and also involved a passenger aboard a TUI cruise ship, who was also treated at Medeor Hospital.

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