Please help me in supporting my dear friend Alicia who is currently going through the toughest time of her life, both physically and emotionally.
Alicia is a 33 year old Australian, full of life and loves adventure. It had long been Alicia’s dream to travel overseas to Latin America. She saved for years, and set off in 2018. She fell in love with Mexico before she could move on to her next destination, and soon found her calling: to become a Divemaster or English teacher.
Alicia fell off her bicycle last year and damaged her elbow, dashing her hopes of moving on to become a dive instructor. This was one of the worst hospital experiences she has ever had to endure, until last week.
Just over a week ago, Alicia was hiking with friends in the Sierra Alvarez in San Luis Potosí, in the centre of Mexico. Alicia had a bad fall and her leg and arm were pinned to the ground. The group was out of cell range and the guide had brought no first aid kit. She was made to believe there was nothing wrong and to move herself into sitting position and work her way out of shock. After two hours of trying to move her, the group dispersed to try to find help. They returned with a rescue crew 6 hours later, by this time it was dark and Alicia was beginning to suffer from, hypothermia and dehydration. The rescue team had to hike with Alicia tied to a table and transport her on the back of a truck on a 4x4 track then transfer her to an ambulance. To top if off, the ambulance had an accident by colliding with a tree trunk trying to get through the dark remote area, causing Alicia even more pain on the 2 hour drive back to the city. The rescue operation took 6 hours, all without anesthesia.
When she finally made it to the hospital, she was advised that she had fractured her femur in 3 places and had also fractured her upper arm on the opposite side. She woke up from her first operation to hear that it had been unsuccessful. She lost a lot of blood during the operation and we almost lost her. She was in ICU for several days. Upon waking from her second operation, Alicia was given the devastating news that her mother (who had been gravely ill) had passed away. The hospital had claimed they would work directly with her travel insurance at the beginning so they could admit her, and then took back their promise right before the operation. Every day whilst Alicia was in ICU, the hospital came collecting money, which Alicia's loving partner Chris had to borrow from everyone he knew to pay so they would not kick her onto the street.
We can only imagine the physical and emotional pain that Alicia has been going through – she has lost her independence, mobility and ability to make a living at the same time as she is grieving for the loss of her mother. She now faces an uphill battle – physically, emotionally and financially.
Although she has now been released from hospital, Alicia will not be able to leave her bed for the next 2 months whilst her leg heals. She is unable to move independently and is fully reliant on help to feed, dress and shower her. Luckily, she is being cared for by Chris and his family. Once the two months are up, she has to leave Mexico and return Australia as soon as she is able to complete her medical recovery there.
Alicia will have to return to Australia without her partner with no idea of if he will be able to join her in the future. She faces an uncertain future and has no idea when she will be able to work to support herself again. What's worse, she now no longer has the support of her mother to help her through this time.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
On her return to Australia, she will have to start afresh and will need funds to help support herself until she is well enough to find work again. She will need months of physiotherapy and counselling, lots of medications which all add up, plus taxis to get to all of her medical appointments, plus food and rent whilst she is not working.
I know that Alicia is extremely uncomfortable about asking for financial help, but I asked her to swallow her pride. When bad things happen to other people, we often ask ‘what can we do to help?’ It’s especially hard to feel useful when someone is suffering miles away on the other side of the world.
Making a small donation to help Alicia get through these next months would mean the world to her. She is going to have a tough enough time getting through the physical pain she is experiencing, let alone the grief she is feeling for having lost her mother, the sadness she feels at having to leave Chris and Mexico, and her uncertainty about her future in Australia.
Being so far away, we can't offer her any physical help, but it doesn't take much to pull a credit card and give a few dollars, those dollars will mean more to her than whatever you may spend it on later this week.
This is ‘what you can do to help’ to show Alicia that you support and love her during this extremely difficult time.
Thank you xx
Image 1: Alicia on her travels
Image 2: The last time Alicia saw her mother, saying goodbye in Australia.
Image 3: Alicia with her loving partner Chris, who unfortunately can't join her in Australia for financial reasons.
Image 4: Alicia broke her femur in 3 places and is set for month of painful therapy before she can walk.
Image 5: Alicia's humerus bone was highly displaced.