The first and best thing that I want to share is that Eira is recovering exceptionally well. She has eaten a lot today and complaining less about the noises that were bothering her, and she is happy (apart from taking all her disgusting medication which she is being exceptionally gracious about). She is not back to herself but as the fracture heals and we get appointments for her ears etc we are hoping this will happen in time. We haven’t been able to take her out due to risk of infection and are trying to manage this and seek advice about how to move forward.
We have written several posts about the accident & Eira’s journey here, click > here < to see them all.
The second thing that I want to say is that we are grateful beyond words for the help we have received on the Go Fund Me page that a friend set up yesterday. It has brought us all to tears and the fact that I can focus on getting the help Eira needs instead of scrambling for more work to replace my contract (I had just started work at the hotel where Eira had her accident) means more than anything in the world. I tried to do some work today from a freelance job as I had missed a deadline because of the accident- thankfully the company has been very understanding and kind- and my brain just is not working properly, so we really cannot thank you enough for this gift of immense compassion and love. We are already trying to think of ways to thank each and every one of you when we are back in the UK and words really do seem inadequate to express our gratitude.
Today Patrick and I phoned and emailed all of the contacts that people have passed to us in the recent days- thank you very much to everyone who has done so. We have had a heck of a time trying to figure out who exactly it is we need to speak to- we spoke to a neurologist yesterday who very kindly video called us from South Africa- she told us we needed to speak to a paediatric neurologist specifically, so we then started hunting for those contacts. Earlier today we got hold of several paediatric neurologists who all said the same thing- that we needed to talk to a neurosurgeon. So we scrambled for neurosurgeon contacts and have thankfully been able to contact two to talk to us about Eira and her CT scans- one has already contact briefly to say that Eira does not need intervention (surgery) with her current injuries which is excellent news. She also said that it’s tricky to give a definitive report because of the nature of emailing limited amounts of CT scans, which of course we expected. At the moment both surgeons have told us not to fly with Eira until we have had a CT scan confirming the air has dissipated.
One of the ongoing issues with the situation is that the hospital both misdiagnosed and misreported Eira’s injuries. For example they missed out in the report the bleed on the brain, when we have been told today by one neurosurgeon that there is one (a subdural haematoma) and, she thinks, two (the other one is called something else I can’t remember). This just puts us into a state of even more distrust of the medical care here, because their report was so inaccurate- they even got the distance that Eira fell wrong by over 4 metres, and they missed off the report some of the scans that they had done other than CT scans. We are very relieved that we hopefully will not have to go back into hospital here and at the same time, we are trying to find a professional consensus on the best way forward (whether to fly back to the UK or not before our booked flights in September).
I also wanted to briefly clear up some things as we have had so many messages suggesting things and so I wanted to explain why we have taken the course of action that we have- I know it must be frustrating trying to help and then not having the suggestion acknowledged and we do appreciate every suggestion and have considered all options:
- Some people suggested a boat to Singapore. The ferry to Singapore is notoriously bad and takes 26 hours which would be far too stressful for Eira (and we have two other young kids) and we would have no access to medical facilities in that time, so it is too risky. There are no boats to Australia apart from cruise ships which don’t depart from Bali, they go from Singapore.
- Insurance- people are asking about insurance. We have full insurance including repatriation, and I always say to anyone considering travel that if you can’t afford travel insurance then you can’t afford to travel. It is essential. That said, anyone who has claimed from insurance will know that the reality of what they say they will do, and what they do in a claim situation, can be two different things. For example we had to stay an extra night in hospital with Eira just because the insurance company were slow at paying the bill and told us we couldn’t leave until they had. They refused to pay for a medical report which is obviously essential so we wasted hours trying to find the hospital cashier so we could pay for it ourselves. Today, Eira went to her hospital appointment and the insurance company had not pre-paid it as they said they would, so the hospital would not see her (they would not take cash for this) and we have to go back tomorrow. Culturally in Bali things are done extremely slowly and this doesn’t help things either- the hospital admin staff clock off at 3.30pm so if you have an unpaid bill you are stuck there until the next morning. So it is far, far more complicated than just ‘having insurance’.
- The UK Embassy- unfortunately they just don’t deal with cases like ours, it is the insurance company’s job to get us what we need and that’s that.
- Some people have suggested that Bali medical advice will be supported by the nearest large country (Singapore). This unfortunately is just not true; there is no relationship there and Bali healthcare is Bali healthcare.
- Several neurologists have told us they can’t help us, because we are not in the UK and don’t have comprehensive scans as they would do in the UK, which we understand. We have contacted as many people as humanly possible and unfortunately the world just doesn’t work in the way we’d like, some people don’t want to advise on a risky case and we get that.
- That said we have had the most generous responses from some top neurosurgeons who I won’t name to protect their privacy but we have just been moved and humbled by their willingness to really help as much as they can and advise us as best they can- we know it is a risky thing for a doctor to do this and we are eternally grateful for their help. Two have slightly different ideas about the injuries so we are just trying to get a consensus before moving forward.
I also wanted to say how incredible my Mum has been in helping us deal with the past 9 days. She looked after Esmae and Elfie 24/7 so both Patrick and I could be with Eira, and it is only since bringing her home that it is obvious how amazingly she looked after them that week. Esmae was devastated after seeing Eira fall and Mum co-slept with her, staying up late to talk things through and process. She distracted them with fun in the days despite feeling distraught herself, and has been an absolute rock. We and the children are very lucky to have such a person in our lives.
I hope to update tomorrow with a clearer picture of when we might be able to return to the UK. Thank you for your support and I asked Eira if she would like to pass on a message and she said “I love everybody. Thank you for all this help. I love everybody.”