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Roxanne writes about her great IESS Hospital Experience!

My birthday is at the end of April and to celebrate we rented a great little house in Cotacachi -about 2 hours north of Quito. We were loading the car at 5:30 Saturday morning-we had a big and heavy box of dry goods that I decided to carry down our 17 step stairway (without telling Bob I was going to do so)

I started down the stairs, and caught my heel on the top step, and somersaulted down to the bottom, where Bob found me upside down with my legs through the banister. I had bruises all over, side of head, shoulders and legs. The first thing I said, "I think I've dislocated my shoulder" We then tried to figure out if anything else was broken, and luckily there were no other breaks. Amazingly enough I was covered with instant coffee and there was shards of glass from two instant coffee jars all over.. I never got one glass cut, and must have been tumbling down the stairs with a grip on the box, because I received no injuries on my hands.


Bob ran over to Agripina’s house yelling we needed help! Immediately Agripina, Lucio, Sonia, and Cecelia were there helping...it was 6:00 am Sat morning. They took me over to the emergency across the street.I said just shove it back in the socket. The Doctor said if it is broken that would really mess it up- that I needed x-rays, but only machine was in La Libertad and other distant places.  The doc gave me a pain injection, which helped,, but the pain was fierce. This was the first of my 5 different Ecuadorian hospital experiences.

We decided to make the trip anyway, so everyone got us loaded and off we went. Every bump in the road was really bad pain , but the shot I received at the hospital helped!

The description of our trip to Cotacachi is too long for this writing, but suffice to say, it was too long, too bumpy, and our GPS went on strike in the middle of Quito and points North. We started about 7:10 in the morning and drove steady until we finally arrived at 9:30 that evening.

We were both exhausted but the house was terrific. Bob made a much appreciated fire and I enjoyed the warmth with a drink. Unfortunately, that was it for the nice times.

The next morning, Sunday, we went to the local hospital, and I was able to get the required x ray. One look at the radiologist's face was enough for us to know it was bad news. Each person we watched look at the x ray for the first time, recoiled as they realized what they were looking at. My arm was fractured.This was my second IESS hospital and everyone was very friendly and extremely helpful.

Note arm shattered and dislocated...Yikes!!!


The staff at the hospital told us that they did not have a qualified doctor there who could treat my multiple fractures. so they sent us up to Ibarra (45 minutes north) to a really first class hospital. This was my 3rd IESS hospital. They put a cast on my arm and then said they were admitting me as surgery was necessary. Everyone was again very friendly and helpful as they settled me into a bed in a room with several other patients. They took blood and urine samples as well as my vital signs.  During my stay, they took numerous x rays, performed many blood tests, and were continually checking my temperature and blood pressure...I was also hooked to an IV which provided saline, Pain Medication, and antibiotics.  They said I would be moved into a more private room later that evening and I ended up with 3 roommates who also had broken bones.There were lots of conferences with more and more specialized. Orthopedic surgeons.Again everyone was very cheerful and helpful! They decided I needed surgery to install a 6” metal plate with 8 screws to hold all the fractured parts together with the Humerous bone which was also broken.All of this was happening on my Birthday so instead of enjoying a martini in front of a roaring fire along with filet mignon and birthday cake,  I was in a hospital bed awaiting surgery!

One of the doctors decided to put a new lighter cast on my arm as I had complained the one I had was very heavy to the point where it was getting hard to move.

I stayed in this hospital for 6 days and although I would have given anything to be with Bob and Coquita in our beautiful Cotacochi home I was treated great by everyone I encountered!

Bob was wonderful and drove every day to see me as well as bringing me special cookies as a special treat!   

During one of his trips to visit me, the fuel pump went out on the car in front of the hospital.It was late in the day so he decided he and Coquita would spend the night in the car which they both survived very well. He spent all the next day going around with the family members of one of my roommates,  who volunteered to help,  so that next morning our new friends found a mechanic to come over to the hospital.  The good news was it was only a fuel pump and not the whole motor, etc. So a tow truck took Bob over to the mechanics garage, we got a good deal on the right fuel pump and he dropped the gas tank and replaced the whole thing, and replaced the gas tank, and now the car runs like new...total cost with pump under $200.including towing the car to the shop! Then the family invited Bob and Coquita over to their home for a wonderful lunch!

That's it on the good news.  I was in all lot of pain even though they were giving me pain medication  The hospital orthopedic surgeons decided they did not want to tackle my severe injury. so they transferred me by ambulance to Quito -over 2 hours drive away.. There are many top surgeons in Quito.The IESS hospital did not want to tackle my operation, so they put it out for “bid”-to private orthopedic surgeons all over the country-which is why I ended up in Quito. I arrived on Friday and had the surgery on Saturday morning. It lasted about 3 hours but I came out of it fine.Again quite a bit of pain but they kept adjusting my pain medication. This was my 4th IESS hospital. The staff was wonderful-the food was actually very good and they had staff cleaning every 3 to 4 hours. Also when I arrived at the hospital they put me in a private room with bathroom, couch,T.V etc.

This shot show the plate and screws holding everyting together...


I was in this hospital for 6 days and Bob drove the 2+ hours every day over curvy,mountain roads!!! I’m lucky he didn’t end up in the hospital.

I was released on a Thursday and we stayed in the Cotacachi home until Sunday a.m. which was great therapy for all three of us. We drove the 12 hours to get home-needless to say Bob was exhausted,  but we arrived to hugs and caring by the entire Agripina and Isidro family plus an entire dinner waiting for us in the fridge,  made by our friends Tim and Janet and Shawn and Bill!!! Bob has continued to be fantastic-he waits on me hand and foot since I can’t do anything with my right hand.

I have started physical therapy in Ancon-my 5th IESS hospital. It is one hour and 20 minutes from home and Bob drives me twice a week. The staff at P.T. are great and I am making quite a bit of progress. They have Electronic Muscle Stimulator machines that I receive treatment on every visit-and then they have me do exercises that push me to my limit-but everyone says that's normal!!

Doctors have told me that the force required to break my arm like this, could have killed or paralyzed me, if the impact was a litle higher than my shoulder.  I am thankful everyday that I only have to deal with this reparable shoulder.

Every treatment I have described was covered by our IESS Insurance plan-$73.00/month. I can’t say enough about how well I was treated and I am thankful to all the wonderful people who took care of me and continue to do so!!!!

Posted on Mon, July 16, 2018 at 01:29PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

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