After 3 months and 7 days, 8 surgeries, Christmas and New Year in intensive care, nearly 1 month with an open wound on his belly, a judicial order to force the hospital to buy the mesh needed to close him and approximately 30 transfusions, Neu was finally discharged yesterday. His recovery at home will be long and slow but the worst is behind us.

It is such a relief to be home, not least because this whole episode has been one of the most stressful adventures of my life, sleeping on the hospital floor beside Neu’s bed (as I did for duration of his stay) missing our son because it was too far to go home and see him. Knowing that Neu’s condition was critical, dealing with more doctors than you can shake a stick at, fighting to get him the treatment he needed and to understand and explain to Neu the treatment he would be given in a language that is not my own, in a system that’s weighed down by bureaucracy and seriously underfunded, has all taken its toll on me. I feel I could sleep for a month (preferably while cuddling up to my son).

I stopped updating my blog during this time, in part because the hospital would not allow me to bring my laptop in but also to protect our son and Neu’s parents, by not adding fuel to the outrageous stories that were being created by some of the people in the village. Neu’s situation was extremely serious and his survival was by no means certain, but the apparent glee with which some of the village gossips told of his imminent death sickened me.

I believe that positive thoughts, good energy, love and prayers go a long way to giving someone the strength they need to fight for  recovery. Sadly some in the village seem determined to do the opposite and spread as much negative energy as they can.

We are very grateful to the surgeons, doctors and nurses who worked so hard to bring about a positive outcome, especially those who went beyond the call of duty to give us both an incredible amount of support (one doctor took me to her home for a good night’s sleep when Neu was taken to intensive care). To those doctors and nurses who visited him in the unit when ever they could so he wouldn’t feel so alone. Certain nurses who fought for me when my language or strength failed me, giving me such fantastic support. The numerous technicians, porters, receptionists, security gaurds and other staff who told me they were praying for Neu and did what they could to make a bad situation more bearable. The other carers who became friends, whose hands I held as their loved ones died and those who stood by me when it looked like Neu would too. We have made friends with some wonderful people and hope that those friendships will last and grow.

I had planned to update my blog with Neu’s medical adventures now that we are home but sadly my poor old macbook, which has been showing signs of fatigue for some time, has finally given up the ghost and died on me. I’m not in a position to buy a new one and can only manage short posts like this one on my phone.

So for the time being that’s it from me, it just remains for me to thank all those family and friends who chanted, prayed, sent positive energy and checked in on me to let me know they were with us in spirit if not in person, particularly (and in no order) my children and mother, Jane, Janine, Caroline G, Caroline A, Charlotte (who saved me by sending me a camping mattress, I was SO grateful for that) Luiz (who went through the judicial process for us as well as always just
being there) Morag, Leah, Rebecca, Chella, René, Zeco, Marlene, Lineuda and to anyone I’ve forgotten to name, I thank you all.