Friday, 28 February 2014

Falling off a mountain

I've not written very much in the last month as I was expending so much energy dealing with the fallout from a holiday accident.

We were holidaying in Fuerteventura, which by the way is a great winter destination.  Away from the resorts, it is a friendly relaxed sort of place with some great coastal and mountain walks.  The flights are very reasonable in January and, best of all, it is warm, dry and sunny in the winter.

My husband fell off a rough non-path while coming down from a mountain and injured his leg.  He had to be rescued by the local emergency services - both the Fire Brigade and Ambulance were involved as you can see from these photos.

He had a ruptured quadriceps tendon and had surgery in Fuerteventura and was eventually repatriated to England.  He was in hospital in Spain for 3 weeks, and I kept jetting backwards and forwards between Fuerteventura and London, in order to juggle my own medical appointments with staying with him.  Our travel insurance put me up in a comfortable hotel in Puerto Rosario, the pleasant laid-back commercial capital of Fuerteventura.

Eventually we managed to get him repatriated and he is now home and in the NHS system now after many twists and turns.  Lessons learnt:

1/  Travel Insurance Emergency Assistance are prone to go off in tangents and get things muddled.  Considerable effort is needed to get them to focus on the required end point - repatriation.

2/  Getting followup care in the NHS after an accident abroad can be very challenging and GP's  don't always know the right route into the system. After over 2 weeks of frustration and confusion, we found the key.  It is really simple once you know how.  Get your GP to write a letter referring you to the Fracture Clinic at your local hospital and then take the letter to the hospital in person.  Voila!

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