After a celebratory birthday lunch in the city of Antigua, we headed back to our village. Upon leaving the bus, my family heirloom wedding rings caught on something as I took the last step down, and my right-handed ring finger was «de-gloved.»
Billy and I discussed our alternatives and decided to phone Lori Shea from Guatemala Medical Travel. She jumped into action, contacted Dr. Galindo – a hand surgeon and President of the Plastic Surgery Association – and arranged for a consultation in Guatemala City that afternoon.
My dominant hand was injured and I could not fill out the paperwork myself so Lori took all my medical history. She accompanied us to the office, chatted with the doctor, and helped get us a better price for services by keeping me out of the hospital. That evening after seeing the surgeon and having oxygen therapy, Lori drove us home. Over the next six weeks, I had ten hyperbaric chamber treatments and eleven visits with Dr. Galindo – three of which were on weekends or the National holiday, and two for which we were not charged.
Instead of an amputation, I have a living finger expected to be rehabbed into full working order. On every level of assistance, people were personable and supportive of my condition. I was not a patient number or someone’s car payment and not once was I rushed. Here in Guatemala, treatment was both affordable and accessible.