Monday, August 20, 2007

Medical Treatment in Costa Rica

Since my husband’s accident about 3 weeks ago we have tested the emergency system and medical treatment at 3 different hospitals in Costa Rica.

The all volunteer 911 rescue Red Cross vehicle came in a timely fashion. We have no complaints about these folks for they must truly be dedicated professionals who love their job as there is no pay involved and they must sell lottery tickets on street corners to earn money for gasoline or diesel fuel to run the ambulance. We must also give thanks to countries such as France and China for donating the ambulances and various emergency vehicles.

How trained are the rescuers? I am not sure about that in all honesty. I came up with the scissors to cut my husbands clothing off and then a flashlight to see with. At one point when more lighting was needed I took the solar lights from the front door pathway and remember feeling like the Statue of Liberty holding torches. Our neighbor Gonzalo went in the back of the ambulance with Phil to regulate the tourniquet and try to keep him focused for the 20 minute pot holed ride. We are grateful for Gonzalo, as his strength has really helped Phil get through this ordeal. The ambulance attendant is also the driver, which limits his ability to care for a patient during transportation even if he had skills or medication.

My friend Bonnie was visiting us from South Florida, she was the first person to reach Phil when he cried out for help. Phil is a very lucky man, the moon and the stars were aligned properly and the Lord was not finished with him.

Our local hospital did the best they could, they saved his life that evening and then sent him on to hospital #2, located in San Jose, 2 hours away. They took a look and sent him back to Turrialba at 4 AM. He remained in the hospital for about a week. A few days after Phil was released we began to realize that Turrialba’s hospital was out of skills and the wound was deteriorating as cells were dying. We made the decision not to return but to instead take the bus to San Jose and go to Clinica Biblica. Our neighbor’s daughter made the arrangements and Phil met her there at noon saw the doctor and was admitted. That was more than a week ago.

Today my husband is having another operation. This one is to sew his leg back together and make skin flaps to replace the missing skin. This is his third operation since he has been at Clinica Biblica in the last week. We hope it is the last surgery and I eagerly await his homecoming.

I would post the many photos of his wound, but I have promised not to, and with good reason, they are not pretty. His leg modeling days are officially over.

The good news is that we have both had time to reflect on our master plan, and to remember what our priorities are, why we came here, and where we are going.

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