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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The Accident, Response, Cure

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

We had just finished celebrating Akaisha’s 60th birthday in a romantic Colonial restaurant setting and took a bus back to our place. Upon exiting the bus, Akaisha's body weight continued down the steep step but her finger with rings got caught on something and stayed behind. She freed herself in an instant, but that was all it took to tear and cut deep into her finger and veins. Blood was gushing everywhere as we stood dazed on the side of the road.

It is a BIG step and Akaisha was getting off of the bus.

I immediately wrapped her hand with my kerchief and flagged down a tuk tuk, instructing the driver to take us to the hospital. My focus was on Akaisha - who at this point could only moan - and not on where our driver was taking us. Akaisha was in the utmost pain and I was concerned that she was going into shock.

After what seemed like a very long 15 minute ride over the bumpy cobblestone road, we arrived and entered the emergency room at the National Hospital in San Felipe just outside of Antigua. We raced directly to a doctor for attention. Dr. Sergio took over at this point, directing nurses to clean up the wound and prep Akaisha to have her family heirloom rings cut off.

It took several shots of pain medication before she settled down enough for the staff to cut the rings. The gash was so deep around her finger that I had to walk away. The sight was more than I could handle.

After the stitches

The doctors sutured her up, gave her a tetanus shot and sent us home with a list of medicines to buy.  By now it was late Saturday afternoon and all we wanted to do was get home and attempt to relax a bit after this traumatic adventure. Over the course of the next 30 hours she was hurting more and returned to the hospital.

Doctors redressed the wound giving her some relief, but at this point there was an obvious concern about saving her finger. After seeing several more doctors and two surgeons, it was recommended that she see a plastic surgeon in Guatemala City. We were both very nervous about the prospects we were facing. Would her finger live through this?

The immediate crisis was controlled.  We now decided it was time to take charge and called Lori Shea from Guatemala Medical Travel whom we recently interviewed for our website. Normally, she handles clients from the States and Canada for knee or hip replacements, cancer treatment, extensive dental work or eye surgery. Our case was more of an emergency so she jumped into action.

 

One week later - finger is looking much better

We spoke with Lori around noon and she scheduled a same day 4:30 PM appointment with a premier hand/plastic surgeon in Guatemala City. Lori picked us up, drove us to the appointment, and stayed the entire four hours with us while Akaisha was receiving treatment. She also took Akaisha's medical history (since Akaisha couldn't write it down herself) negotiated discounts with the doctors, and set up future appointments with the surgeon and for hyperbaric chamber therapy. Then she arranged for a personal driver to take us from Antigua to Guatemala City daily over the next ten days.

What service!

Akaisha entering the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber

Akaisha saw the surgeon, Dr. Galindo, four of the first six days including one appointment on Independence Day - a national holiday where we were the only people in a 14 story medical building - and Dr. Galindo made a special trip to observe progress and change her dressing. She also entered a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for 2 hours daily to expedite the healing process. Lcda. Ana Potrillo also made a separate trip on this national holiday for Akaisha's therapy.

 

We asked ourselves if we would have gotten this devoted attention in the States.

This accident is a vivid reminder just how fast life can change. Although as of this writing two weeks after the incident, Akaisha is healing and does not yet have use of her finger, she is progressing and we are hopeful for a full recovery.

We would like to thank all of you who sent well wishes and prayers for Akaisha's healing. It means a lot to us in this time of crisis.

For more information on this story see:

Fickle Finger of Fate

Turning the Corner

Pricing of a Medical Emergency in Guatemala

A Short 3 Months Later

An Inside View

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

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