A request for donations to cover treatment expenses for Dubravko
Dubravko Hrkovac is the most seriously injured victim of a traffic accident that happened on September 10, 2018, in Zagreb, Croatia.
The key circumstances and facts of this traffic accident are extremely uncustomary and dramatic: a driver of a foreign-registered vehicle, who was under the influence of drugs and, who, about 10 minutes before this accident had caused material damage to three other vehicles and fled the scene, was driving in the opposite direction on one of the busiest city roads with the approximate speed of 120 km/h, when he frontally collided with the vehicle driven by Dubravko.
After the accident, the driver got out of the car and regardless of the chaos he had caused, fled the scene, but was caught by shocked witnesses at a nearby railway line.
The incident itself, with many improbable details, was breaking news on all television stations in the Republic of Croatia and was transmitted by numerous news outlets and internet portals throughout Europe.
Road accidents indeed happen daily, but none of them contain elements of uncontrolled perilous driving in the opposite direction on the city road at a speed borderline to the permitted speed on straight parts of the motorway. All traffic accident participants – whether guilty or innocent – are always in some state of shock, but very few of them go into a lunatic escape, convinced it would save them from the liability.
As a result, this tragic event is, on record in collective consciousness, the most utterly shocking traffic accident in the year 2018.
Dubravko was also part of this news. He was recorded statistically as a severely injured participant for whose life, at the time of the publication of the news, doctors were fiercely fighting. Fortunately, with their help, Dubravko won this battle.
My name is Zvonka Tomasović Hrkovac, I am the wife of Dubravko Hrkovac, and I address the public with a plea for a donation because Dubravko’s recovery is long from over – while it has been a year since the horrible accident. The Media no longer wonder about Dubravko’s state. With Dubravko’s consent, I am posting a picture of him here.
Dubravko had severe injuries, among which brain and abdominal haemorrhage as well as the brain and lungs contractions. As he was in a coma, he was admitted into an intensive care unit, where he was attached to a mechanical ventilator. Two and a half months later, he was transferred to a rehabilitation centre, where he stayed for the next 6 and half months, from where he was discharged for home medical care on June 12, 2019, nine months after the tragic accident.
For a year now, I have been focused on my husband's recovery.
Dubravko’s recovery so far has been mostly on a cognitive level, yet his motor state is worsening due to prolonged immobility. He is completely dependent on someone else’s care and help.
He is being fed through a tube attached to his stomach because of the inability to swallow.
Dubravko suffers from severe pain daily. The constant position of lying in bed led to contractures, spasms and structural changes, which prevent his ability to hold a sitting position. Even with the help of other people, he has not been able to sit from the pain it causes. Dubravko requires further surgery and therapy which is not covered by the Croatian healthcare system.
Most apparatuses that help his state, we have to provide by ourselves. The Croatian healthcare system does not allow the procurement of wheelchairs that are adequate to Dubravko's registered height, let alone a wheelchair with a verticaliser that can prevent life-threatening injuries due to numerous atrophies and injuries caused by the constant lying down position. The only way for Dubravko to get better now is to raise money for the surgery, therapy, and apparatuses needed. On the contrary, it is hard to say if there will be any improvement and his state can only be worse.
During the first few months, I was forced to leave my job completely and move to the city where the rehabilitation centre was located. Nowadays, I hardly manage to get 10-15 hours of work done in a week, considering I have to tend to Dubravko’s care and organize the whole situation.
Dubravko is in urgent need of surgery, additional therapy and apparatuses. Monthly expenses total 2.500,00 EUR, while one surgery costs 5.000,00 EUR. We have to collect the money for 6 months and two operations as quick as possible. This sum totals 25.000,00 EUR.
My husband was a therapist himself. For 27 years, he has done more than twenty-five thousand therapy sessions in Croatia and abroad. Most of his clients were mostly or fully immobile, so the last 20 years he has been doing home-visit therapy sessions. Up until the accident, he performed his duties as the Vice President of the Judging Commission of the Croatian Bowling Section and was professionally active in BK Nomad. Since 2016, he had been a student of the Academy of osteopathy (AO) in Croatia, but now, his education has been stopped due to the accident.
The cost for the recovery of people, who have gone through traffic accidents, is far higher than formerly mentioned. Nonetheless, we have to start somewhere, and for now, the amount mentioned before would be of great help for Dubravko. By the time Dubravko finally receives an adequate payment from the responsible insurance companies, waiting is significantly endangering his health and his life.
Insurance companies are trying to justify themselves with the established procedure for the defense of international damages and withholding payments Dubravko has the undisputed right to. The dramatic circumstances of this accident, as well as the extremely grave consequences, must have more adequate, more humane and more concrete treatment than the current relationship of the responsible (Croatian and foreign) insurance companies.
It is sad to think about the reality in which people lose their battle before they even got the chance to fight it, before they get the money they had the right to in the first place. All because the insurance companies and the overall system think they have the right to step in at a time they find convenient for themselves.
Suddenly, you are left alone, seeking help from people who are ready to help now. Money is not the main issue, the problem is how to provide a decent life for Dubravko. The insurance companies did not answer that question, because they have been busy making excuses all the time, while the innocent victim is fighting for his life.
The lives of our family have been permanently changed, all because of a car accident, in which the offender is a person who will, most likely, be let back to step in his vehicle in about six months from now. Extreme situations come in our lives to make us stronger. However, sometimes they are too big for one person to handle alone, and it takes the whole world to get through them. Our difficult situation is not an obstacle to our happiness in the time to come.
Dubravko survived extremely difficult, some could say even impossible, injuries, and we both had to commit to the recovery. Our goal is to stay positive regardless of what is yet to come. We want to LIVE this life to the maximum.
My name is Zvonka. I am Dubravko’s wife and I am collecting resources that could help Dubravko to able to sit in a wheelchair and get back to his life as much as it would be possible.
Ever since the accident, I have learned the value of the support of another person, of all of you. Therefore, in Dubravko’s name and my own, I thank you All in advance from the bottom of my heart.
This campaign will be considered a success even if the amount collected is less than the one mentioned above. In case more money is collected, we know many people in a similar situation as Dubravko’s and are willing to share.