Monday, January 2, 2012

Small things, done with great love.

Hello and Happy New Year, family and friends!

Wow, this post is long over due. As most of you know, we are back in Durham (NC), but there is still news to share from Tabuga, Ecuador.

Jose remains with a broken leg. As you know, the day we fly out was the day that Jose was admitted to VosAndes Hospital for the second time. However, his blood pressure was too high to operate. We had a feeling like this might happen. We also knew Jose might become more fearful of an operation once it looked like it would become a reality. All we know is that they assured us, once we were home in the US, that nothing could be done to get the operation completed. They returned our portion of the money and explained that if Jose and Rosa wanted to make another trek to Quito they would try again, but that there was nothing else they could currently do.

Jose and Rosa understand this option, but so far have expressed no interest in returning. The trip is simply too arduous to go through again. We set out with the intent to get him walking again, alleviate the pain and assess his overall physical condition. Throughout the weeks, it started to become apparent that their story was bigger than the car accident. Our goals and hopes were likely different from theirs. They are used to a quiet, tranquil life in coastal Ecuador. Looking back, we can now see that giving them a comfortable living situation and simple stability in everyday life is the best thing for them. Since returning back to the States, this has been the focus.

And so, they have a home! The last of the construction had been completed just before they returned back to Tabuga on August 20th, a couple of days after we flew home. With all your support, we were able to purchase a small plot of land in Tabuga that is under their ownership for life. The house itself is small, simple but very comfortable and most importantly manageable given their limited capacities. We have them set up with a bed, two hammocks, a dining table with chairs, a fully functioning kitchen with cooking supplies, and food. Jose also has a supply of pain medication to ease getting around.

With the refund of the hospital payment, we've been working on some new projects for them with the help of Miguel, our great friend. Up until about a month ago, they had to share the neighbors bathroom and had no water or electricity. Miguel put together a team and built them a personal bathroom right next to their house which is a huge relief with its easy access. Also, Miguel worked with the municipality in Jama (the nearest city in the county) to get them an electric hookup. So, now they've got some lights instead of always using candles.

One of the main goals in recent months has also been to establish a reliable water connection. However, in September the bridge that was located next to the old house they were squatting in was demolished by a government highway project. That same house, from which they would of been forced to leave by the owner had it not been for the house we built for them, was also taken down. What amazing timing in building them their own home! As for the water supply, it cannot be completed until the new bridge is finished as it runs over the only available water source in the area, the Tabuga river. There is no government established water supply infrastructure for all Tabuga residents. So, for now they are gathering the water further upstream until construction ends. Our last project with the donations made will be to build a system that pumps water into their kitchen sink and bathroom.

Even though they are far away from us, Jose and Rosa are very much still in our hearts. We hope that they are safer, more comfortable, and a little happier thanks to our work and your support. And we KNOW that we are forever changed. We have learned that Mother Teresa was right; great things are very hard to do, but small things, done with great love are simply the best investment of time and heart that there ever was. Thank you for being part of this adventure.

Us and Miguel on the roadside of Tabuga. Our last day on the coast before coming heading home.

Rosa and Jose's New Home!!
Simple, but comfortable, safe, full
of their daily needs and they own
it thanks to your support! Thank You.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Donation Goal has been MET!!! Woohoo

The days continue to be hectic...but this time back in the sweltering heat of the coast. First off, THANK YOU to all those who opened their heart to this cause for donating. It might have seemed like a far off story with people you dont know. Its hard to relate the emotion of the story through blog postings and wish you all could be hear to meet Jose and Rosa and see the on the ground reality...AND progress! There are countless things to donate to in this day and age; we're so grateful you chose to step up to our calling to help these two individuals that had been so neglected and left alone. Our received donations sum to a near $4,000! Incredible amount of support in such a short amount of time. We are wowed! And hope you all can be too with the miracles that are gaining momentum.
Jose will be back to Quito on sunday and checking into a very well respected hospital, Voz Andes. His surgery will probably take place on tuesday of next week, as exams will need to be carried out on monday. Half of the dontations, $2k is going to the surgery. The hospital is covering the remaining $3k...see previous postings if you want the whole scoop! The other $2k of donations has gone to the first Quito trip, the house project, food, and basic household supplies for when they move into their new home. They are going to have a basic but sweet setup once they get back from the hospital the following week. If all goes to plan, the house will be finished by this Saturday evening. The rest of the donations will also cover the second trip to Quito, post surgery rehabilitation, as well as Miguels salary...who has been so needed and has come through in so many ways.

We'll be back on the blog by friday or saturday. Hasta luego a todos!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Donations close tomorrow... only $640 to go!!

Hi everyone!!

We are back in Tabuga, checking on the housing, getting Jose signed up for an additional $240/mo bono for which he is elligble, and starting to buy living supplies for Jose and Rosa!

So far we have raised $3360!!! Thank you x 10 to everyone who has donated!!

To complete the project (surgery, the house, supplies, and sending Jose, Rosa, and Miguel to Quito one more time) we only need to raise another $640!

BUT, paypal takes 3-4 business days to transfer money into Jeremiah's account. Since we fly home next Monday night, we hope to have this remaining $640 by the end of tomorrow's business day.

If you or anyone you know is planning to donate, please keep that in mind.

Yay for a superspeed miracle!! Well done everyone.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Set date for Surgery!!

Jeremiah here, and: Great news!! After about 11 days of nonstop logistics, traveling, translating, hospital visits, blogging, investigating the whole story, etc. we finally have breached the peak of a seemingly insurmountable task. Sleeping in today was probably the best way to celebrate yesterday´s success. Yesterday´s success was odd and rather anticlimactic I think because we expected so much more so much earlier. We all were so drained and the negotiation at VozAndes was so quick and business-like that it was hard to be aware of the success itself and how incredible it was given how the day was so up and down with good and bad news. I guess Ill stop rambling:) and say the operation is going to happen!! and for the amount that we determined we could offer...$2000! They initially wanted us to cover 4k!

Let me go into the details. Wednesday night, we had to good fortune to put the word out in Tabuga to find the name of the hospital they had visited right after the hit and run happened. We needed either a police report( not possible, there are no police in this part of the country), a receipt form called 08 from a public hospital, or a paid services receipt if they had gone to a private clinic (again, not possible as they have no money) in order to prove it was a car accident so Jose would qualify the SOAT funding from the government. We were hoping to get around 2000 from this to offset the remainder of the surgery costs. We gave the name of the hospital to Voz Andes and they said they would look into it the first thing Thursday morning. I got a call from the Director as we were on our way in a taxi to check in on Jose and Rosa and bring them breakfast. Word was that the hospital did have records and that there was about $1100 of SOAT money that would probably be able to be used for the surgery. This was great news as it got us one step closer. They said they might have some reconditioned plates and screws that could be used and thus cover all the costs of the operation if we could provide that initial $2000. Awesome.

We got to Jose and Rosa who were in good spirits after a good nights rest. They kept asking when they could go home as I think they miss being away from the coast and Tabuga itself. Quito is like cold, distant planet compared to the tropical coast. They also always ask for Allison, ¨¿Donde está la muchacha?¨ because she has been out sick and hadnt been able to visit as much. I try to tell them she working hard on getting help from all our family and friends and resting up from being sick. I can tell they miss having her around. They seem to get a good chuckle in just asking about her. Miguel and I hung out with them for a couple hours, watched some shows on a tiny tv huddled all on the bed in their hostal. As it got closer to noon, we figured it would be good to head over to Voz Andes to get the latest news and hopefully transfer them back to the shelter at that hospital to help save money and would also allow them easy access to food at the hospital cafeteria.

After lunch, we got to the hospital around 1pm and found the social worker first. Terrible news hit us after the first 20 seconds in her office. Apparently, our initial information about the date of the accident that we had sought out early last week before going to Quito was totally off. We had heard 10 months by several people including Jose. So that's what we had to go with as there was no documentation from a police report and they had no hospital papers. It actually happened over two years ago and because we were now outside the 2 year limitation for SOAT funding, we wouldn't have access to that last critical amount of money. It was truly hard to hear we could be back to square one. The mountain had jolted forward but then settled back into the same exact place. In addition, the doctor to whom Jose had been assigned was going on vacation today and was not returning until the day we leave for home. I asked if he could be reassigned and she assured me no. Only place to go now was to request another meeting with the Director to see if their initial idea, of discussing with staff about our case and weighing it among their budget and other patients, could fund the remainder. Also, hopefully plead for a new doctor. We got a meeting an hour later at 2pm but finally got a chance to talk to him at 3. He came out of the elevator right by where we were sitting in the waiting room and without greeting said, ' ok if you have the two thousand you mentioned yesterday, we will take care of the rest and somehow make it work. Were not sure how its all gonna work yet, but well make sure the surgery gets done.´
Complete shock, didn't expect it. But, WOW, miracle granted! The only sticking point was getting a surgery date. The surgeon is available only the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of August before going on another vacation. So we set the date for next Monday, the 22nd which happens to be the day we fly home. We struggled to make this happen before leaving the country, but know we cant control the timeline of anything especially in this country. I sent Miguel home with Jose and Rosa today so they could rest back in Tabuga for a week before coming back for surgery. Allison and I are going to also rest up for a couple days and then also head back to the coast on Sunday to finish the home building process and get them essentials in the home and food, etc. Another huge goal of ours is to get Jose in the system to receive his qualified monthly assistance bono of $240 so they will have a sustainable income for their future once we are gone.

The surgery is a huge success and we couldnt have made it happen without your incredible support! There are still some costs to make it happen though, so we are keeping our donation requests urgent and needed. Traveling to Quito next week, staying in Quito for the surgery and rehab, and finishing housing costs will take another $1000 thanks to the last few hundred dollar donations yesterday. We have raised about $3000 so far!, and need just another $1000 to make this all happen. Please send this blog link on to other family and friends if you havent yet! Thanks for helping change the lives in a massively positive way for two wonderful people Mountain is moving, lets send it speeding!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mountains take a long time to be moved.

Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. But, moving mountains does take time. That is what we are learning.

This morning´s update from the hospital: After helping Jose and Rosa get dressed and ready, the team was at the hospital by 8:35. When the trauma doctor starting seeing patients (9:35), they were indeed first in line. But, after a brief conversation, they were told tomorrow to get the first prelim test. After pushing and getting the head nurse who helped us yesterday, they finally agreed to do the test and give us firm appointments for the remaining tests Monday. They also told them that there was one additional xray that needed to be obtained from a private clinic.

Once making contact with Jeremiah, we decided it was time to talk to the Executive Director at Vozandes, the private hospital we started at. Jeremiah left Miguel enough money for their lodging, meals, taxis, and the private clinic. But we assumed that Miguel et al would just go home after lunch, since it had been such a long morning. Turns out they got the xrays today, so no more public hospital visits until Monday! (If at all...) The clinic tried to make Miguel wait for 2 hours for the results, but he insisted immediate service. And won.

So once Jeremiah and I met up, we spent some time preparing what we were going to say, we decided that although we all still raising enough to cover the home ect and surgery (like I explained, this morning we announced that we still need $1500 even if the surgery is at the public hospital), we were going to tell this man that we had raised $2000 for the surgery. Our plea was to therefore get him to have the hospital cover the rest ($2000 on them, $1000 on social workers, $2000 on us, making a total of $5000). As we entered the hospital, it felt like we were going to war. We saw the social worker who wouldn´t even say hello back to us. We went straight to the executive office, where I earlier met the Medical Director.

··yesterday, we announced a need for $1500. Today, that might have changed to $2000. Still, today we raised an additional $840!!! Thank you all donors!!! We are almost at the $3000 mark and are only $660 to $1160 away!!!··

We told the receptionist that we needed to see the Executive Director. She asked why, and Jeremiah explained the story, in perhaps the most eloquent way yet. She told us that if the social worker and Medical Director said that they couldn´t help, then they couldn´t help. Jeremiah said (in Spanish), ¨I believe otherwise. I believe the Executive Director has the power to change this decision. He is a pastor, yes? And this is a Christian hospital, yes? There are verses from the book of Jeremiah all over your website, your walls, and my name is Jeremiah and believe we came here first because we thought you would be able to help when public system hasnt been able to. Please let us see the Executive Director.¨She looked pretty emotional and told us that if we had a seat, she would ensure that we spoke with him.

35 minutes later (light speed compared to other progress so far!), the Director, came by. I was in the bathroom! When I got back, I thought I was going to have to break down the door to be a part of the conversation, but everyone helped me to his office, no problem.

Before I got there, Jeremiah began to explain ours and Jose and Rosa´s story. He also explained that a friend of Jeremiah's brother that is associated with the organization that helps fund the hospital on an international level and recommended we come there. He explained that we were offered a $1000 discount but that we didnt have the remaining 4k and told him what had all happened at other hospitals since we left.

Once I came in, I had to listen for a bit, to gage how it was going. The director was more compassionate than the medical director, explaining that Vozandes does indeed give about 1 million dollars worth of medical care to the poor every year. I told him that that statistic is exactly why we came, hoping they would help. I thanked him for all that they do for the poor, and asked him to consider adding Jose and Rosa to the list of lives they have changed. I told him that we both understood, and have seen suffering, world wide. But still, we believe that God, the Universe, put Jose and Rosa in our lives for us to help them. Jeremiah explained that if they didn´t get help before they leave, they never will. He agreed. I told him that when we met Jose and Rosa, we took a step in faith. We have friends and family that are walking with us, but still, we NEED someone HERE to answer our prayers, our cry for help. After listening, he finally told us that he wanted to help, but needed to talk to a committee to see if they had the money... and that he would let us know tomorrow their decision. As he was getting up, I told him there was something else on my heart to share.

I told him about the conversation I had on Monday with the Medical Director. I tried to be as diplomatic as possible, and admitted that I don´t know that man´s own story or why he responded that way. But I told him that as a hospital that seems to base itself on biblical principles, and scripture from the book of Jeremiah, I hope that mine and Jeremiah´s emotional attachment would help our case tomorrow, and not hurt it. He seemed to be very receptive, also saying that the Med. Dir. is not a bad man, but that yes, I was right. We shook hands and left his office.

After taking a short 20 minute break on the sidewalk, to regroup in the shade, we headed home. After a few steps, we heard someone calling Jeremiah´s name. We looked up, and it was the Director from the window of the 3rd floor, motioning us to come back. We took each other´s hands and braced ourselves, as we went back to his office. He told us to get in the elevator with us and come down to social work. On the way, he explained that Ecuador has a law that covers $2500 in medical car for victims of car accidents. As Jose was only stitched up the first time, he most likely did not use all of that coverage up. He took us into the social workers office and she clearly was surprised to see us, and this time with our new friend.

He had her explain exactly what we need to obtain to prove that Jose has indeed not received those funds. If we can do that, and provide the additional money that we said we had, they will do the surgery, and soon! Ideally, we will track down the receipt from someone, Jacinto, a distant relative, who knows. But if nothing else, if we can just get the name of the hospital that Jose went to 10 months ago, the hospital would call and get all the information they need.

So, Miguel is currently calling every number we have in Tabuga, trying to get the information. Turns out Jacinto has been calling from Cabinas this whole time, as he doesn´t have a cellphone. If we can´t get the name of the hospital tonight, Miguel is taking the overnight bus back to Pedernales to find Jacinto.

The director told us that if somehow the first hospital ¨spent all of that money,¨then he will work with us to find another way.

Potential Outcomes, we think, are:
1. name of hospital tonight, Jose admitted tomorrow
2. name of hospital tomorrow, Jose admitted tomorrow or Friday
3. no name of hospital or records, but still the director will get the hospital to cover at least $2000.
4. no name of hospital or records, we stick with the public hospital and keep trying to expedite as many steps as possible.

Either way, between Jeremiah and Miguel´s success this morning and afternoon, and our conversation with the director, we feel the mountains finally being jolted, and about ready to start moving.

¨Es una situacion muy dificile, pero no es imposible¨ --Miguel
(It´s a very difficult situation, but not impossible.)

Let´s prove Miguel right!

PS as I finished the post, Don Eduardo, Tabuga´s tienda owner and icon, called with the name of the hospital. Jeremiah called the director and he said they would get the information they need first thing tomorrow morning. Here come the plate tectonics. We hope.

Banging our heads on the doors of Justice, but no one will answer. Yet.

Dear all,

After rethinking the subject header for this morning, I think it might be a bit hasty. People have been answering, as in you all. I think what I am trying to say is that no one here, with decision making power at least, is answering our cry for help.

But, there has already been a lot of bad news, so I will start off with the good stuff...

As Jeremiah mentioned yesterday, the day before (Monday) was our biggest fund-raising day yet! We have passed the $2000 mark!! Thank you to all who have donated! Each time we log into paypal, we are amazing at who all has donated. We have received donations of all sizes, and every dollar can help so much!

Each donation has greatly helped, and moved us, but I want to say a special thanks to a few people. First, our family. Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles have been at the core of this project. You all have given more than we expected, and have been rocks for both Jeremiah and I throughout this process. Thank you for contacting your networks and helping in all the ways you have. But especially to the moms, please do not worry too much. You both have hearts of gold and are being tremendously helpful. Thank you.

Also, one of my biggest role models, a former camp counselor, gave an extremely generous donation, after me simply posting the blog on her wall. In case she wishes to remain anonymous, ¨Shelby,¨your support and note really gave me hope in this situation. We haven´t been in touch for maybe 10 years(???) and you gave without any hesitation. You give me hope.

Then, the friends. Wow! Some of you aren´t even employed, and you all have been so amazing. Donations, ideas, words of encouragement. Again, it is you all that inspire us not to give up.

And then, people we don´t even know. Donations appeared from friends of friends, from the unknown. That is where some serious magic lies. Thank you.

So... what will happen with all of this money!!!??? Well, yesterday morning, Jeremiah and I talked to James in Tabuga. Property has been secured and construction is ALREADY UNDERWAY!!! Jaciento has a half sister, from a different dad, who happens to live in Tabuga. She agreed to donate space for Rosa and Jose to live. They are going to have a home!! And, a side note about Jacinto. According to James, he is blowing all of our expectations away! He is extremely motivated to getting this house built, as well and as quickly as possible. I can´t wait to see the finished product. So back to the money... the money we have will definitely cover the 5x5m house and labor (now estimated at $800, after explaining that we want it to have internal structure and a tin, rather than palm, roof), all the living supplies Rosa and Jose need (a water hookup and sink, a stove and gas, flat-wear, cooking-ware, sheets, etc), and hopefully all of Rosa, Jose, and Miguel´s expenses while in Quito. That part is a little bit complicated, because at this point, we don´t know when we will get back to Tabuga. Although the private hospital staff wanted to operate YESTERDAY, but as you all know, they couldn´t due to financial issues, now dealing with the public sector is costing us much more time and therefore money. Still, we can get really far with the money raised. Our gratefulness is NOT lost in the midst of the frustrations down here.

However, as Jeremiah explained, we still need at least $1500 more, to pay for medical supplies. Right now, the team is at the hospital. If our case is somehow expedited (is that the right word??? oh grammar...), then that might be all they charge us. However, yesterday, they will trying to tell us that the entire process might take 2 months, due to backups in surgery and PT (keep in mind that the private hospital told us that Jose could be operated on and walking again in 5-10 days). What´s more, as of yesterday, they would not lodge Jose before or even after the surgery. And as you might have guessed, they won´t put up Rosa at all. Jeremiah and I fly out in less than two weeks, and can´t push back the date. We don´t have the personal finances to change our flight, not to mention school starts for him soon after we get back. We cannot leave Rosa here to figure this all out herself. Staying in a hostal and eating at restaurants would drain the money we've (you´ve) all raised. Not to mention an elderly womyn from the coast trying to get around in Quito is not safe, in any respect. Particularly when trying to help her blind cripple husband. Therefore, this time-line is unacceptable.

As we speak, Jeremiah and Miguel are fighting hard to change things. We´ve got one director on our side, thanks to an amazing English speaking nurse I found in the parking lot yesterday. Unfortunately, neither of these womyn have direct decision making power in the trauma surgery dept.

Several people have sent us links for other organizations that might be able to help. Thank you! The fact that you all are spending time at home researching this is SO UPLIFTING! I am going through each link, trying to see what we might be able to get, in regards of help. However, thus far, all organizations I have been reading about are either not in Quito or public. After being turned away from the #1 hospital in Ecuador in terms of helping the poor (the 1st public hospital we tried on Monday), we worry that the same might happen there. Still, any org with a phone number we are going to call. Second, a trip anywhere besides home is just not possible for Jose and Rosa. They are so tired. As you can imagine, traveling is very hard for the elderly, not to mention when it is on a public bus. When you add Jose´s conditions to the mix, they just don´t have another trip in them. Unless we have a guarantee from someone in terms of surgery, and price, we can´t put them through another trip.

They are loosing hope, I can tell. Yesterday they said that they knew no one would help them because no one has so far. Please help them not loose hope!

To do that, there are several things you can do.

1. Pray for us all to find the help we need, and to not quite until we do.
2. Keep tuned and please keep spreading the word.
3. If you can, and haven´t already, please donate. We at least need $1500 and if things don´t go well today, we might need $4000 to go back to the private hospital, where at least the doctors, nurses and surgeons are passionate about Jose´s case.

Now, a few stories from yesterday.

At lunch, Jose started crying. We asked what was wrong and he said he missed his kids. Come to find out, all but one of Jose´s children have passed away. We didn´t know what to say, but before we came up with the right words, he was laughing at the cook, who was yelling out in a really funny way every time there was an order up. Jose has the best attitude I´ve ever seen.

Also, while waiting in the hospital, a family befriended Jeremiah. 3 kids, one 7 year old, one 10, one 12, were very interested in helping me with my Spanish pronouciation and understanding Jose´s story. Diana, the 7 year old, sat with me for almost the whole day, going back and forth between giving me legal and medical advice for Jose and Spanish lessons. She was 100% accurate in all of her advice... and obviously all her Spanish.

And lastly, a little bit about Jeremiah and Miguel. After all we could get was moved up in the Q for tomorrow, I really started to loose faith, in myself, in us, and in a surgery happening for Jose. But then, I got to overhear Jeremiah talking to Miguel. He was explaining that we couldn´t give up, that we wouldn´t take no for an answer. He said that we are going to push and push and push until we get Jose proper care. There was so much strength in his words, in his eyes. Although he was talking to Miguel, his message reached me too.

Still, I felt discouraged. Then, for the first time, I got to hear Miguel tell Jose and Rosa´s story. Seeing his face, hearing his voice, watching him show the xrays, and explain the story, I know that he won´t give up either.

So, yep, yesterday I lost a little hope. But, God, Jeremiah, Miguel and you all are carrying me through. I know we can do this.

I´ve thought a lot lately about a quotation my friend Ted talked to me about last year, from Rumi. I think I´ll end with that.

¨Don´t go back to sleep, fight for what you need.¨

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

4am Wakeup Call

This is Jeremiah, finally making a round at this blog. Allison and I are both exhausted from yet another day that seems like 5. I hadnt imagined that taking this on would be so tough and with such little sleep. Yesterday, we wound up visiting 3 hospitals. The first of which was mentioned in the previous post, the next two were state run public hospitals. We had hope for one called Eugenio Espejo, as weve heard that it has the best possibility for people with no means. But, we were denied and told to return the next morning at 5am. Getting Jose into and out of taxis and rushing around all over town in the entire day took a toll on all of us. We arrived at the last of the 3, another public hospital, and were told by the emergency room that we again had to wait till the next morning. Their shelter was full and we couldnt get Jose and Rosa a bed there no matter how much we pleaded. So now, we had no hospital to stay in and no shelter for them to sleep as the night began. Quito is at 8000 ft or it gets pretty cold at night especially for two seniors that are used to the tropical coast. I scoured the local barrio, which was rather sketchy, looking for a hostal. The only one had a buzzer but no one to answer. So we hoped in another taxi and told the driver to go to the nearest hostal. It was a few miles away and had a steep staircase, as where we are staying is full and very far from the hostpital. It seemed our only option at the moment so we settled for a room and carried Jose up two flights of stairs. Yesterday ended really late and today started really early, 4am or so.

We were told to go back at 5am to hospital number 3 so we tried but couldn´t get Jose and R osa there till 6am. I can only explain what it was like there as being a madhouse. Hundreds of people were already in line since who knows when, many of whom were yelling and fighting to get their ticket number before others. I thought a serious fight was gonna break out a few times. The line was ridiculous and most the people looked rather healthy. We soon found that it was for all types of care...general, pediatric, trauma, etc. We knew our case was special but fighting the system has been a huge obstacle this entire trip. They keep trying to tell us Jose is a normal patient because the accident didnt happen this week, but we know better. I think they tell a lot of people this to discourage them so they go home. But we wont.

Somehow Miguel and I were able to state our case to the right people and we got moved up in line to a special window and finally got our ¨turno¨ number to be seen. By around 10am, we finally saw a trauma doctor then to be sent to get Xrays which took another few hours. After getting the xray sheets, we went back to the trauma office just as all the doctors left. Apparently they only do consultations in the mornings. We were told to come back tomorrow again at 5am and get another turno. This in a nutshell is the public medical system. Groulling long waits with little time for quality doctor visits.

We had been told that each day may require a different exam, xray first then blood and so on ...each taking a day or more for results. This could turn into weeks or more before possible surgery and we just dont have this kind of time or money. Jose and Rosa and getting worn down from all the moving around and the exhaustion of chaotic hospitals. Also, everyday we spend in Quito costs us that much more with hostals for them, taxis, food, exams among others which we would rather spend on their housing or actual medical care. I knew we couldn't give up so we kept going. It´s getting late and there is so much more to say about what happened the rest of the day, but I´ll just leave it on a note that thing improved with the amazing actions that Allison took in the afternoon despite all of us and Jose wanting to throw in the towel. I´m sure she will be on the blog sooner or later to finish the days news, maybe tomorrow or so. In short, we do have a priority appointment first thing tomorrow morning at 8am with the trauma department!

In terms of budget, we will have more answers tomorrow to see if subsidized care will be given to Jose or not. That being said, we still need to be able to cover medical supplies of $1500. Amazing donations from yesterday have given us enough for the new house currently being built and for basic living supplies, food and the rest of the costs for being in Quito! But please keep them coming, we definitely need more support be it financial for the surgery, emotional or words of encouragement. There are a lot of cool amazing sub-stories that went on in the day but those may have to wait. Thanks again to all!! None of the could be done without you. Hopefully next time I will be a bit more rested and can fill in on more of the details. Good night!

Niño Grandote (a nickname some tabuga kids gave me)