Jeff Bezos has a rating for his New Year's Day 2014: "Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars," the Amazon founder says in a statement, addressing reports that he had to be airlifted off a cruise ship by the Ecuadorian navy on the first of the year after being hit by aforementioned kidney stones. Bezos "had to be attended to in the shortest possible time," says a statement from the navy, which airlifted him 20 miles to his private jet on a nearby island, reports the Bezos-owned Washington Post. He then returned to the United States for "emergency surgery," according to the navy, as per the Chicago Tribune.
"We landed our helicopter on a football pitch," says the navy helicopter pilot who flew Bezos. "They told us that a doctor had already gone in (a) boat to treat him onboard the yacht ... They stabilized him and took him to the United States. He was conscious, but he was on a drip."