GringoPost | Ecuador: Help for Pablo - Covid19 updated

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Help for Pablo - Covid19 updated

Dear Friends,

My partner, Pablo, has been on a ventilator in the ICU for 19 days now. The public health system has failed us terribly, so we have been forced to go to a private hospital in order to save his life. When doctors ask us whether to keep him going for another day (financial question), we obviously say yes, but it is adding up. The hospital keeps calling and asking for money. His family has put everything up for sale, my family has sent all their savings from the US. Sadly, this isn't enough yet, and we don't even know how long he will have to be there for. Doctors have tried to turn him face up twice but he has not been able to take it.

I made a post last week, and it seemed confusing to some people. I would like to give more detail about what has happened and what has led us to this situation.

Pablo was not feeling well, had a very high fever, chills, low energy and everything hurt. He did not feel any shortness of breath and had only a mild cough. Because of the virus we called the direct line 171 and they gave us an appointment at Centro de Salud Carlos Elizalde for the week after. We called on a Thursday, the appointment was for the following Tuesday. Since Pablo was getting so much worse, I had a private lab come in to our home to do a PCR test on the Monday before the appointment. They said the results would be ready on Wednesday. On Tuesday he went to his appointment at the Centro de Salud where he waited 2 hours in the hot sun for his turn (even though his appointment was supposed to be at 10:30 am). Once it was his turn, the doctors diagnosed him with tonsillitis, and ran a quick covid test (which sadly is very inaccurate) and said he did not have covid, so he could go home. At home he was having a terrible fever and could barely move because of the pain in his body. That evening (one day sooner than anticipated) we received the results from the private lab saying he was positive for COVID. We immediately called 171 again to know what we should do next. They told us that if he had gotten the test done at the health center and if it was a negative hen it must be negative. I explained to the man about the positive PCR test, but he said that he could try to schedule a new appointment and have the quick test done again, days later. I asked if we could go through the ER at Vicente Corral Moscoso and he said they were not taking in emergency COVID patients at that time (he could not give me a reason why as he said that is the only information he had). Seeing my husband in that state I made the decision to take him to the ER in a private hospital.

The next day I personally went to the Centro de Salud and spoke to two doctors and the director who said there is not much I can do. They were very kind and friendly, but sadly had no answers to my questions and no solutions to our problems.

My mother and father in law and I called many, many people in the public health care system to see if Pablo could be transferred to Vicente Corral Moscoso or if they knew what we could do. They said that they did not have any answers as the agreement they used to have with transferring patients from private to public hospitals was no longer in place: it had ceased before COVID hit Ecuador.

By this time (second day at Monte Sinai), Pablo was already put on a ventilator. A friend of Pablo's family who is a doctor at a private hospital in Quito offered to help pull some strings to lower the medical bill a bit if we transferred him to this hospital in Quito. The risk of moving Pablo, who was already on a ventilator, to Quito was too high a risk for us to take.

Pablo is still on a ventilator, we're more than $80 000 in debt as of now, and who knows how much lon ger he will need to be there.

I hope this sheds some light on the real situation many patients are put in. Healthcare is said to be free in Ecuador, but in practice, not so much so. Had we waited another few days, Pablo would not be alive.

If you would like to make any contributions to help out with Pablo's medical bills, we will be forever grateful. Every dollar counts!

Caroline Ewing
Banco del Pichincha
Savings account: 5895436100
Cedula: 1714681002
Phone: 098 400 2043



Thank you for reading this long post.


Caroline Ewing.

Monte Sinai Hospital, Cuenca, Ecuador.