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 more....so 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!

NiƱo Grandote (a nickname some tabuga kids gave me)


  1. You two are putting forth such effort--I hope someone within the system can make some kind of suggestion that will wind up being fruitful. It is amazing that Jose can maintain at all, with the pain he must be in. Hang in there!

  2. And try to get some rest, you two--remember what they say about the careGIVERS...xo