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Utah man airlifted from cruise ship during honeymoon

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Mar 27th, 2014 @ 10:24pm


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SALT LAKE CTY—A Salt Lake City couple is recovering from a honeymoon that hit an unexpected wave.

Jo and Brent Killian met for the first time on March 15, 2013, when they were setup by a mutual friend. Exactly one year later, they were married. Two days later, they were sailing on the Atlantic Ocean with the Norwegian Gem cruise line.

Jo said that on day seven, Brent became sick and had trouble breathing. He was taken to the ship’s medical center.

“They ran some tests and found out his blood composition was completely out of whack,” Jo said.

Brent is a diabetic. He was treated on the ship for more than 24 hours.

“[He’d] kind of relapse and go backwards,” Jo said.

Brent's condition became too poor to remain on board. But by this time, the cruise was about 180 miles east of Nags Head, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard was called in, and a helicopter airlifted Brent to the Albermarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, N.C.

“I was a big emotional mess when I was watching them lift him up from the ship,” Jo said.

There wasn’t enough room on the chopper for Jo, so she was left behind and had to wait until the following morning for the ship to dock.

“It feels like a part of you is ripped off,” Jo said.

But Jo is also finding the positive side to a negative situation.

“Kind of a sense of adventure too. I’ve never been to Virginia or North Carolina, so I’m getting to see a couple extra states I’ve never been to,” Jo said.

When she finally reunited with Brent, he was still in the ICU in critical condition, but he is improving. Brent is expected to be released from the hospital early next week.

The couple is already planning for another cruise.

“As far as I’m concerned, our honeymoon ain’t over until we’re home, and we’re not home yet,” said Jo.

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