As some of you may have heard, in July I suffered a severe accident at my home in Costa Rica resulting in a serious head injury. I slipped and fell down the stairs to my loft bedroom in the middle of the night and smashed my head on either the upright railing at the bottom of the stairs, or the wall. I still have no memory of the accident and am very grateful to my neighbours who came to assist me and call an ambulance.
I was initially taken to the Red Cross Clinic where I had my head stitched with in excess of 30 stitches. I was then transferred from the clinic by ambulance to the nearest hospital in Puntarenas for further assessment, but given this was a weekend their resident neurosurgeon was not available, and so, I was stabilized and transferred to Hospital Catolica in the Capital San Jose. X rays and a CT scan were taken of my head and by some miracle there was no fracture to my skull, however the most severe and life threatening damage was not detected.
I was sent home the following day. Over the course of the next several days I suffered massive swelling and bruising to my face and head, double vision in my right eye, little to no feeling in my right arm and fingers and a crooked neck that was tilting to the right…all signs that there was further and significant damage.
I met with a well-respected orthopaedic and trauma surgeon, Dr. Andres Angulo Garcia who instructed me to get a further CT scan and MRI of my neck. These two new tests revealed that the impact from the fall had also fractured a vertebra in my cervical spine, which was not initially detected. Not only was this vertebra (C6) fractured, it was also twisted 90 degrees and displaced 8 mm, resulting in the vertebrae pressing against my spinal cord.
This has left me in a very precarious position and in quite a bit of pain. The doctor has told me that any further jolt or fall could send the vertebra into my spinal cord leaving me paralyzed or worse… and that surgery to fix the vertebrae is critical.
Dr. Angulo Garcia, who specializes in spinal surgery has outlined all aspects of the necessary surgery...it is somewhat complex and has some risk involved, however, he is confident that it will be successful if performed in an urgent time frame.
Basically, the procedure involves removing the disc between the vertebrae C6 and C7, getting vertebra C6 back into place and then installing a metal plate with four screws to fuse C6 to C7.
The estimated cost of the surgery is U.S. $ 35,000 to $ 40,000 and full recovery time will take between 6 to 12 months. I do not have, nor currently qualify for medical insurance in Costa Rica. I am not able to cover these costs by myself and have not been able to work since the accident.
Therefore, I am appealing to you, my friends and family for your kind consideration and donations towards these costs to help save my quality of life and to help me get back to my normal, healthy and productive life. I am very thankful for any possible contributions.
This will be a tough few months but with your help I can get to the other side of this..!!
I would also be grateful if you could share this plea for support on facebook.
With my sincere gratitude,
Please note that donations are made through Paypal..if you do not have a Paypal account you can still use your debit or credit card...however you have to uncheck the small Paypal box at the end.