Skip to main content

Jeff Bezos evacuated off Galapagos Islands for kidney stones

By Elwyn Lopez, CNN
January 5, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Spokesman: Bezos had a "good outcome," didn't need surgery and is "feeling well"
  • Jeff Bezos was on a tourist expedition near the Galapagos Islands off South America
  • He was evacuated on an Ecuadorian navy helicopter, so that he could get surgery
  • Bezos on the ordeal: "Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars"

(CNN) -- Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos was flown off the Galapagos Islands on an Ecuadorian navy helicopter, authorities there said, an evacuation that happened after the entrepreneur was struck by kidney stones.

Asked about the ordeal, Bezos -- in a comment relayed via Amazon -- responded: "Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars."

A Galapagos-based navy unit said in a press release that Bezos developed renal colic while he was on a tourist cruise near Santa Cruz Island. Daniel Ginez Villacis, a regional coast guard official, ordered that a helicopter fly him from there to Baltra Island.

Lt. Pablo Abarca, a spokesman with the Ecuadorian navy, told CNN that Bezos was transported on a Bell 430 helicopter on New Year's Day. The force has an operative unit on the Galapagos Islands, according to Abarca.

According to the official press release, Bezos, 49, was then to fly to the United States.

While the Ecuador navy said the businessman was being flown back home for surgery, that didn't turn out to be the case.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said Saturday about Bezos: "He got a good outcome. No surgery was required, and he's feeling well."

Renal colic is marked by severe pain associated with kidney stones.

According to a National Institutes of Health website, kidney stones can pass naturally -- with those suffering with them encouraged to consume lots of fluids and sometimes taking pain medication to help move the obstructions along.

In more severe cases (with particularly big stones,) people can be treated with procedures like shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy (a long tubelike instrument that's inserted through a person's urethra to break stones with lasers) and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (a thin instrument is inserted through a person's back directly into the kidney).

Bezos is one of the world's most renowned and wealthy businessmen: In 2012, Fortune magazine named the Amazon CEO its Businessperson of the Year, citing its Amazon Web services, Kindle creation in addition to its wildly successfully core business as an online retailer.

More recently, he's ventured into other fields -- including buying the Washington Post Co.'s newspaper business last year.

CNN's Greg Botelho and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2245 GMT (0645 HKT)
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT)
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1054 GMT (1854 HKT)
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
December 17, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT