Help Get Alicia Well and Back to Australia

$5,899 raised
59%
GOAL $10,000
75 donations
 
since Sep 2019
 
 
 

Please help me in supporting my dear friend Alicia who is currently going through the toughest time of her life, both physically and emotionally.

ABOUT ALICIA

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.

THE ACCIDENT

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.


THE HOSPITAL

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.

WHAT'S NEXT?

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.

4
updates

19
Feb
Dear Friends,

For all who contributed to crowdfunding page for Alicia, we thought it was time for one final email update.

It has been 11 weeks since Alicia returned to Australia from Mexico and 9 weeks since her surgery to re break and reset her femur.

Alicia spent 10 weeks in hospital as the bones need to heal around the paediatric sized rod that was inserted into her bone, and then her wound became infected.

She was released from hospital 10 days ago and is staying with a high school friend and her family, who have so generously offered her a room to stay in until she can take the next step and care for herself.

Alicia now has permission to weight bear on her arm and partially weight bear on her leg, which means she can begin the process of learning to walk for a second time using gutter crutches, a type of clutch that people use when they have injured arms and cannot grip the handle. Doctors are being more conservative with her femur so that she doesn't rebreak like last time. As of today, one out of two fractures in her arm and femur look to be healing well, but her hip and shoulder are still coming along very slowly, therefore she cannot commence with physio just yet.
The infection in her wound is sticking around, so she continues on antibiotics.

As for her radial palsy, she has been told that nerves repair 1mm per week, so to expect a good 6-month wait before regaining full movement in her hand and wrist.

Alicia's living situation is also complicated, having only her sister's house as an available accommodation option, which is only appropriate once Alicia is fully independent and mobile enough to climb stairs.

Alicia is going through the process of coming to terms with her bone condition. At fracture number 41, she has a reduced capacity to work as she once did due to having a chronic condition that will cause her to break in the future and causes many delays in the healing process.

Alicia is now receiving unemployment allowance, which is not enough to cover a rental place and all living expenses, so your incredible donations are going to help her more than you can ever know as she learns to settle back into Australian life and find a place to live, a job and discover her future path.

Although the crowdfunding page is closing, Alicia would still love you to follow her story and updates on her Facebook page, Wonders with Alicia. Please follow her at www.facebook.com/wonderswithalicia.
Once she gets through this initial stage of recovery, Alicia is looking to write about her story and her experiences overseas as well as starting to teach Spanish in English on her blog, so please support her in this very easy way by subscribing to her website www.wonderswithalicia.com and following her posts.
20
Dec
Hi to all supporters and followers of Alicia's journey. Thanks to your generous donations, Alicia has made it safely home to Australia. She was repatriated with a nurse accompaniment from Mexico, touching down in Brisbane and being admitted immediately at Gold Coast University Hospital on November 29. Unfortunately, life seems to be kicking Alicia whilst she's down, continuing to deliver more and more bad news, even upon her arrival to her home country.

MEDICAL UPDATE:

LEG:
Xrays have revealed that the femur underneath the hip had started to heal in the wrong direction, and required revision surgery, rebreaking and setting the leg, undoing all the work Alicia had done over the months of physio in Mexico. It got more complicated from there, however, as Alicia's bones were revealed to be a very complex and rare case, which needed more than a week of planning by the surgical team. They called around to other doctors around the country who had operated on a similar injury, ordered in about a million dollars of parts, including diamond-tipped drill bits to perforate the bone. They entered Alicia in for surgery with many options, and thankfully the plan A, to drill holes down the centre of the femur and create an internal canal in which to insert a metal rod, worked out. However, they could only insert a 7mm paediatric sized rod, which means that Alicia cannot weight bear like other patients with this injury until her bones have fully healed. This means that Alicia will be wheelchair-bound for several weeks to months.

ANAEMIA:
Due to the lack of red blood cells, however, her bones will take much longer to heal. Her haemoglobin levels are dangerously low and they are resulting in low blood pressure, high heart rate and drowsiness. Multiple blood transfusions have proven little help so far with her HB staying at 72.

ARM:
To add insult to injury, during the second surgery on Alicia's humerus, the radial nerve needed to be moved, and this has resulted in radial palsy: a paralysis of the right wrist and fingers that is causing her excruciating nerve pain and doctors cannot say when or if this will recover. This prevents Alicia not only from using crutches to walk, but she cannot write, dress herself, prepare meals or even push herself in a wheelchair.

WHERE TO NOW?
All of these factors have combined to an unfortunate situation for Alicia: The Queensland Health system is designed to get patients moving independently and living back out in the community as quickly as possible to free up the bed., but Alicia has found herself now stuck in hospital with no appropriate accommodation.
Her mother has passed on, her grandmother is living in a retirement home, her sister lives in an unaccessible house and has also gone overseas for the Christmas period, and her brother is also preparing to move away, currently living with others.
As she has been restricted from weight-bearing on both her leg and her arm until the bones have healed, and her bones take longer than normal to heal, Alicia is not physically eligible to be transferred to a hospital in-patient rehabilitation facility. An assisted living respite facility is only available for people aged 65 and over. The only option for her outside of the hospital is a private, modified house, which is out of the price range of someone on unemployment benefits.
Alicia is not eligible for the NDIS funding (Disability allowance, free services and discounts), because although her bone condition will affect her for life and will cause her to have future fractures very easily, the current injury she has does not meet the criteria for NDIS, as lasting 2 years or more.
Alicia has fallen through a crack in the system due to her age and her very rare bone condition that restricts her from rehab. She now is being moved from room to room as they have space, and may possibly even be transferred to a different hospital as there is no place for a long term patient on an acute ward.

Despite this, Alicia keeps her spirits up, staying busy and doing the few exercises she can, learning to be as independent as possible from within the confines of the hospital. She feels safe within her own country, albeit lonely and missing her partner in Mexico very much.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Christmas is coming up, and Alicia will be spending it and New Year's in a hospital room. You can make her day a little brighter by throwing a couple more dollars her way to her campaign. Alicia has told me that she's been told to buy herself a different, lighter self-propelled wheelchair so that she can more independently push herself around with her one arm and get out of her room without relying on the few visitors she has. This is valued at $495.
If you can't spare the extra pennies, drop Alicia a line instead or leave her a Christmas message here in the comments.

A WORD FROM ALICIA
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Hey guys, thanks for all your amazing love and words of encouragement to get through the most difficult time in my life. I have been in pain, felt scared, unsure, frustrated, defeated, disappointed, angry and depressed, but I have never ONCE felt alone in this because of YOU!

For those whom I haven't spoken with yet, I know how you must feel when you see my updates, because I would feel exactly the same if you were hurt over there and I couldn't come to see you. I know you all feel helpless like you can't do anything and that everything's so shit that there is not much that can be said.
I figure that the best way around this is to just tell you what I need.

If you want to show you care but don't know how, just reach out and have a chat. I just need to feel normal again. The joy for life and freedom I had in my Old life before travelling, focusing on good friendships and only those people who make my soul smile. I want to have lots of funny conversations, reminisce on past memories and laugh a lot, with a little gossip thrown in. If you want to know what to say, talk to me about yourself and what's going on with you. Despite what is going on with me, I recognise that there are two people in this friendship and the other person has a life too.
Tell me about your life, make me forget myself for a minute. Tell me a joke, a funny story about your week, send me a funny meme. It can be small, anything to know I've crossed your mind.
And if I'm sad or angry, you don't need to feel like you have to say anything, you don't need a response. Sometimes just being there whilst I shout or cry is all I need then I can let it out and know I'm in a safe space where someone who cares about me is listening.

**********************************************************************************************
We will be closing the campaign after Christmas so this is your last chance to contribute.
The money raised is going towards accommodation after Alicia is out of hospital.
20
Nov
Hello everyone

It's Vikki Friedman here who has set up this fundraising page on behalf of Alicia. Thanks so far for all your generosity, donations and good wishes for Alicia's recovery.

Unfortunately, Alicia has suffered a big set back. She was doing quite well with her rehabilitation and recovery but contacted me yesterday to let me know that she has re-broken her arm.

Alicia was extremely upset. This is a big set back for her recovery and she will have to have further surgery.
This also means that she will have to return to Australia before Xmas - leaving her partner Chris who has been caring for her during this difficult time.

Alicia will be returning to Australia (she still has to work out where she will live) with nowhere to live and no family support and a long road to recovery ahead.

She still needs our financial support and also a place to live. She is most likely to return to Melbourne so if anyone has or knows of a ground floor room that Alicia may be able to rent, please do get in touch with me at vikkifriedman095@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance and please send your thoughts, prayers and donations to Alicia.

Vikki x
08
Oct
Thanks to all of you who have donated so far, Below is a message from Alicia. It has taken a while as it is the first day that she has been well enough to sit up with a computer. I know your generosity means the world to her - yes, the money will help enormously in a practical way, but it is the fact that you cared enough to donate that means the most to Alicia. Thanks again. Vikki x

****************************************************
“Thanks everyone so much for your support, donations and messages of encouragement. It's been a very hard and emotional road not being in my own country and not having family support here, but I've never felt alone. I am overwhelmed at the support of people in even my outer circle, acquaintances, ex-colleagues and even those who know me through others that have been able to donate. I can't tell you what it means to me to know I have some funds to help keep me going before I'm physically ready to walk and look for work again.
I've always been an independent person, and so asking for money from people, especially outside of family, has been a big bruise to my pride. But I am learning that family isn't necessarily blood - it's those who are there for you in the hard times.
As far as an update on my condition: Another 5 weeks remain until xrays will be taken of my fractures to see if the bones have healed since the surgery. Only then will I be allowed to start putting weight on my leg to begin walking. I am receiving in-home physiotherapy in bed to treat the pain and help repair the atrophied muscles.
So when exactly am I coming home? When I can walk assisted to an in-flight bathroom and sit upright comfortably for 30 hours. So we are still a long way from that, however I want to be home well before Christmas.
Thank you to all of you, I love you very much.
Alicia xx “
Follow this campaign for updates
$5,899 raised
59%
GOAL $10,000
75 donations
 
since Sep 2019
 
Fundraising for
Alicia T Stamford
Please help me in supporting my dear friend Alicia who is currently going through the toughest time of her life, both physically and emotionally.
Funds banked to
Alicia Stamford
Campaign creator
Vikki Friedman
Elwood VIC
 
 

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