Wednesday, August 10, 2011

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,


  1. I still wonder if you should start a fb page or something? And I hope that with the organizations you have lists of, you'll still contact some of them even if they sound like dead ends. You never know who might have an idea that hadn't been considered before...

    Shoot--send Anderson Cooper a link to your blog--maybe he'd fly down and do a profile on you all. I'm serious!!

  2. This situation so clearly depicts how extremely fortunate we are here in the US, knowing that if any one of us showed up at a hospital in that condition, we would be somehow attended to, and the rest would be figured out later. We sometimes forget that the rest of the world is not so fortunate.