Hospital Quirón Palmaplanas is a private hospital-evidence of which can be found in abundance throughout the entrances and hallways.
Although we paid a higher price for Tony to have his operations here, we know it was worth it;he received good care there-we were told it was a much better choice than the public hospital.
May 16th-by now we were just biding our time until the doctors would agree to allow Tony to fly home. Tony couldn't handle too much time out in the wheelchair, so it was clear to us that the surgeon and physicians there were right to keep him a while longer.
May 14th-went out for a walk, pushing Tony in a wheelchair down to the front grounds of the hospital to enjoy fresh air and sun. Tony did really well, but was in some pain towards the end. The temporary change of scenery was therapeutic.
May 14th-Tony's first time up out of bed following the surgery. Knowing we were being charged for every single day he had to be in the hospital really motivated him to show the medical staff that he was doing well....but his burst of motivation lasted only as long as his poor, battered body allowed before he had to get back to bed-especially after struggling through his first shower following the accident. It wiped him out COMPLETELY, and the poor guy was white as a sheet by the time we got him back to bed. The good news was that having a shower made him feel much better, so the effort was worth it.
Phil Stone and Mina came to visit us following Tony's operations and helped me bring all of our luggage up to the hospital room. Along with chocolates and well wishes, he brought us some humor as well, resulting in some much-needed laughter. Thank you guys again for all of your help those first few days!
May 12-surgeries to repair Tony's right clavicle and right hip are finally performed. Difficulties with getting ahold of our insurance company delayed the operations for over 24 hours. Coverage was denied, and it wasn't until we paid out over $30,000 to Quiron Hospital Palmaplanas that they finally came in and whisked him away to the operating theater.
Closing Message from Tony:
"I wanted to take the time to say Thank You to everyone that came forward and donated to this fund that my sister started while I was in Spain undergoing surgery to fix both my clavicle and hip and only just beginning the journey of what has become the most significant health crisis of my entire life. I have been humbled and amazed at the support from friends, family, and even complete strangers.
Every day my journey seemed to bring on new challenges, and each time I thought we finally had the upper hand, I would have yet another complication, a new struggle, and ongoing challenges that seemed to come out of nowhere at times. Every few days my sister and wife would repost the GoFundme link, and each and every time I was speechless witnessing the support, prayers, and number of donations I received. The posts people wrote were uplifting and encouraging,which motivated me to fight that much harder in the midst of my struggle towards recovery.
I have been out of the hospital now for over two weeks with nothing but improvement each day; I am breathing better every day, gaining lung capacity daily,and feeling less fatigued. Physically I feel stronger, but I am still having difficulty with the amount of pain I have in my right hip. My Ortho appointment is next Tuesday and I hope the x-rays show improvement in bone health and healing. I may need to get a total hip replacement in the future, but we will tackle that challenge when we come to it. As for my pulmonary embolisms, I have an upcoming appointment with my Lung Dr on Thursday to find out when I can get the IVC filter taken out of my body (hopefully sometime next week). I will continue to be on the Coumadin for anywhere from 2 to 5 more months,and as long as I am still on it, I cannot return to the Fire Line as a Firefighter(due to risk of bleeding) but I am trying to work towards light duty work so I can stop burning through my accrued leave.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions, and only time will tell how this injury will play out, but I wanted everyone to know that I am super motivated to get back to my regular self as soon as possible. The support shown to me and my family has been amazing and gives me that much more drive to keep moving forward and show everyone my gratitude by healing up and getting better everyday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and God bless everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and donations."
Angie's take on the day of the crash:
"Today marks one month since the day I got that dreaded call:'Babe-you're gonna kill me. I think I broke my collarbone. The ambulance is on the way and I'll call you once I know what hospital I'm at.'.
I didn't panic, but I was incredibly concerned for him and it killed me that I wasn't there to be with him as they transported him. Not to mention.... our rental car was in the middle of nowhere, out where he parked it before he started his ride up the Orient. I asked him, 'What can I do? I don't know what to do-tell me what to do.' His response? 'Go outside and try to enjoy the sunshine while you can. I'll call you from the ER.' Scccuuuuse me!? LOL! But, well....that's just Tony for ya. He's on his way to the hospital in a foreign country with a broken hip and clavicle, and he's worried I won't enjoy the rest of our vacation...hahaha.
I finally got his text that the hospital they brought him to was way down in Palma (clear across the island from our villa) To make matters a bit more complicated, our rental was a manual, and my experience driving one was slim to none (seriously). Let's just put it this way:I learned to drive a stick shift on vacation, halfway across the world, in a beige Berlingo Citroen during an hour and a half trip clear across the island of Mallorca with an enormous bike box, wheel case, six pieces of luggage.... and some ventricular tachycardia on the side. It did NOT help that I took the wrong exit, nearly ran out of gas(and could not find a gas station to save my life).... and then had absolutely NOWHERE to stop, pull over and/or park to check my directions. Meanwhile, my poor husband is in the hospital by himself, fighting with our insurance company to try to get them to cover both of the surgeries he needed, and worrying about his hysterical wife who was, at the time, driving around the city of Palma like a bat out of hell in a car that appeared to have developed a bad case of bronchitis with frequent, spasmodic coughing fits. Ah, yes-pulling into an ER parking lot has never brought me so much joy as it did that day :)
I hope you enjoyed laughing at my story-I certainly wasn't laughing that day (I was close to tears, worrying about Tony), and I am certain it aged me at least a few years.... but looking back on it, knowing how well he is doing today, I know it will be one of our favorite stories we reminisce and laugh about for years to come. That being said, I can happily say Tony has improved by leaps and bounds since he returned home (especially his mood) The day he left the hospital, he measured 1,500mL on his incentive spirometer (a device that measures lung capacity), and today he is at nearly 3,000mL. His lungs are obviously improving day by day, and soon he should be able to top the thing out at 5,000mL, like I did the other day, trying to ignore him glaring at me from the corner of his eye. He is extremely motivated to be up and about soon, and hopefully we will get the ok soon from the doctor to finally begin physical therapy.
Thank you all again so much for your support. This is going to be a long road, and it's nice to not feel so alone in our struggles. God Bless! :)
Update from Tony's wife, Angela:
"Yesterday was the first time since Tony has been out of the hospital that they checked his INR(a test measuring how well the Coumadin/blood thinner is working). When he left the hospital on Monday, his INR was a nice, solid 2.8-a good number since the doctors want it to be above 2. Unfortunately, when we got the test results back we learned it had fallen to 1.7, and so he will have to start taking a higher dose.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. And to those of you who have been so generous, donating your own hard-earned money out of the goodness of your hearts. I cannot even tell you just how much anxiety you all have relieved me of-a gift I will forever be thankful for as it allows me to concentrate on Tony's recovery and taking care of my family. God Bless you all
Update from Tony's wife, Angie:
"Monday was Tony's last day in the hospital and we both could not be happier that he is home! He had his first appointment yesterday with his GP, who told us to come back on Friday to retest his liver enzymes and his INR(a blood test to measure the effectiveness of the Coumadin, a blood thinner he is on for the clots). This will need to be done 1-2 times a week for the next 6 months. That's right-my hubby will be on Coumadin for SIX MONTHS. This means that even a bloody nose could be dangerous for him. It also means he cannot return to work as a firefighter during that entire time. Although that puts us in a difficult financial bind, I would much rather be sure that the clots have been eliminated than to worry he might keel over and die one day, seemingly out of the blue. I can honestly say that his pulmonary embolisms had me terrified of losing him-more scared than I think I have EVER been. To say I am thankful he has survived this latest assault on his system is an understatement of grande proportions, and I don't ever wish to go back to that awful state of not knowing and worrying he might be taken from us. I am grateful to everyone for their support and prayers-they mean a great deal, not only to myself, but to Tony and the rest of our family and loved ones. Please know we are so very appreciative of your efforts and wish we could thank you in more ways
Message from Tony's wife, Ang:
"Back when Tony's sister, Barb, started this fund for him, Tony and I had a very difficult time accepting that we would need such a thing. It seems uncertainty has punctuated much of our time these past few weeks;from the moment we began this unexpected journey halfway across the world in Spain, to this moment-finally back home in Alaska, but once again living in the hospital. Looking back to those first few days following the accident, I am so very grateful to my sister-in-law for doing what she did and taking the time to set this up. I myself was, at the time, so consumed with Tony's care and rearranging our travel plans (not to mention close to hysterical with worry at times) that I was unable to do it myself, much less even make the decision to do so in the first place. With all that has transpired since then, I am realizing more and more just how much we will be needing this money to get through the next few months (having emptied our accounts and maxing out our credit cards to pay the over $30,000 in medical bills-and that only covers the first WEEK). With all that being said, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your support-your kindness and compassion, along with your astounding generosity has humbled me and left me wishing for better words to describe how grateful I am. Thank you-a thousand times over-THANK YOU :)"
Update from Tony:
"Thank you so much to all of you who have donated. I can't tell you how much it means to have the comfort of knowing my family will be taken care of while they are taking care of me during this long road I have ahead of me in recovery.
I am still in PCU and last update yesterday was that I am scheduled to be released Monday as long as I keep making improvements. Getting really tired of hospitals after almost two weeks in them between here and Spain.
The nursing staff here at PMC is a bunch of awesome people who I can not say thank you to enough for the care and help they have provided. So different being on the other side of the help table, so to speak.
My current condition is that on Fri afternoon one of the PE's that were hanging out in my Pulmonary Artery broke off a large enough piece to travel down one of my larger airway tubes, completely blocking any further blood flow to the lung tissue below the clot. This causes an infarct or tissue death just like it would in a person having a heart attack with a blood clot obstructing blood flow to the heart tissue. Good thing for lung tissue is that it is not like heart tissue which means it will regenerate and heal. The Dr said I had an extensive infarct and lung tissue damage- that basically, I am running off my L lung until the R one heals and I am running back on two cylinders again.
Now that the breathing attacks have stopped and I do not have what was anywhere from 5 min to a 20-25 min attack where I was fighting my own body to try and breathe and felt like I was going to die, I now am left with the complication of coughing up blood clots that are really painful to get out of my lungs. They are not the actual PE's clots but my understanding is that they are caused by the damage and irritation caused to my lungs from the original PE's. It is gross to say the least, but I am trying to keep the mindset that the more that come out the more healing and less chance of infection I will have. I really don't have a choice because your body pretty much expels this crud and you are just along for the ride, but at least I am pretending to be in control of it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this if you wanted to know more. If you want to stop by I am here, confined to my bed with strict instructions to not get out of bed. Really hard for me to deal with but I know the importance of not aiding anymore blood clot moving so I am chilling in bed as ordered."
I know a lot of people have text me to see how I am doing and if it was ok to come see me in the Hospital. Fri afternoon through Sunday morning were literally hell for me because I would have breathing attacks with severe pain out of nowhere. These attacks were the result of the blood clots traveling far enough down into the smaller airway tubes of my lungs and blocking any blood flow to that area of the lung. It basically went from only being able to breathing a half breath to minimize the pain to being forced to try my hardest just to take a quarter breath but each time I would breath in it would feel like I had the wind knocked out of me and I would go back and forth in this vicious cycle until the nurses could get enough pain meds into my IV to stop the pain. I had episodes that lasted 20 to 25 min where I really thought I was going to die and struggled to fight my own body. My last attack was only 5 min and that was on Sunday morning. I have not had one since and I am so happy about that. The blood thinner/ clot reducing drugs I am on are doing their job slowly. Now I am stuck with coughing up blood clots, it is gross, it hurts like hell to get the strength up to cough and it is tiring to accomplish but I know they need to come out. The Lung Dr says this is normal and does not know how long I will deal with this, everyone is different. If you want to come visit feel free to, if I am too tired to talk to my brothers from AFD we can just silently stare intently into one another's eyes . Please accept this as my latest update as I am trying to rest and texting is getting to be a pain in the ass. I keep hitting wrong key, auto correct is killing me and I am just repeating my self. I Thank EVERYONE for your support, prayers, visits and kind words of encouragement. I hope to be discharged later this week. Thanks
Update from Tony's wife, Angela-May 21:
"Well...it's official:my hunny has a pretty lengthy case of DVT(Deep Vein Thrombosis) in his right calf. And I mean "lengthy" quite literally. (the clots extend all the way up his calf and past his knee).
Please pray for him. Thank you all."
From Tony on May 19:
"At Primary Care Associates with Ang waiting to see the Dr. I have to get a blood draw to see if my red blood count is still dropping before I can get a blood thinner I am supposed to be taking every day. Feel like a dog chasing my tail, lol. Fingers crossed that I don't have any complications, but if I do I am glad I am home in AK and back in America!"
New update- Had my appointment with Anchorage Fracture and Orthopedics today- our main concern was for the tightness and pressure I was feeling every time I was standing or sitting and the veins in my R leg pumped up compared to my L. I had x-rays done first of my clavicle and then my hip. Once the PA looked at my x-ray and we could see the side by side comparison of my hips it was obvious how much shorter my R one is than my L. My Fx was a compound or compacted and so when I crashed it basically shoved my femoral neck up into the ball/hip joint. With this awesome new news I have a bone scan Friday to see if I have enough blood flow to the hip joint. I go in Friday for a dye injection then come back 3 hours later for them to do the bone scan. With that bit of info I will know if the R hip will heal on its own or if I am going to need a total hip replacement. In the meantime while I wait for that test and result we went to Alaska Imaging to have an immediate Ultrasound of my R leg to see if I had a blood clot that would explain what I was complaining about the most- The Tech doing the scan was cool, calm and talkative until he went up the underside of my calf and up my leg. I noticed he was taking a lot more screen shots and spending more time in certain areas. When he finished he politely said "I need to have the radiologist look at these and I will be back in about 10 min". He comes back on the phone and says "yea ok, hold on he is right here" and hands me the phone. On the other line is the PA I saw earlier who ordered the test and he says "well hey bud sorry but it looks like you have a string of blood clots that go from your calf up right above your knee". He goes on to tell me that I should have been on double the amount of Lovenox that the Spain Dr put me on and now that I have developed these clots while on a low dose of blood thinners I just bought myself a jump from 40mg a day of this awesome shot you self inject into your belly skin to 160mg a day. Just so the Lovenox does not get lonely I have to go see another Dr this week to start a course of Coumadin so the clots can be broken down. I was also given strict instructions to not put any weight on my leg "not even a toe touch". And to think I was making such good progress learning how to semi step with a cane. I now have a wheel chair in my livingroom that is my new way of transportation from couch, bathroom and bedroom. Thanks once again to Angie Olson for running around with me for the 6 hours it took to get all this done today. I love you babe.
Tony should be in the US by now. He is scheduled to arrive in Anchorage 12:35 am Alaska time Monday morning.
Post from Tony:
I will not forget this experience and the great people, paramedics, nurses, dr's and all the hospital staff that helped me, fixed me, and made it a priority to get me home to my family and friends and soon to be new Alaskan Dr's for bones
I meant to say I will never be able to thank them enough, nor will I be able to thank all my friends and family for everything you all have done to get me through this and support me THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tony is scheduled to leave @ 8:30 am Sunday morning.
Post from Tony:
1 day left until I am flown out of Mallorca with my awesome wife Ang and a nurse escort all the way back to Anchorage. Fingers crossed all keeps going straight from here on out and I gain more mobility and strength in that time. Being mobile is very difficult with hardly any use of the right side of my body. Shuffling is the best mode but it only gets me a few feet at a time. Wish they invented butt heeleys for a time like this. Not ones that actually came out of your rear butt some really cool pants that had em in the pockets. For once in my life I want my big wheel back for a day lol. We are scheduled to be in anchorage at 12:35 late late Sunday night but technically Monday morning.
We went for a walk today!!!
Tony did really well, but was in some pain towards the end. All the same, he was just happy to breathe the fresh air and feel the sun on his skin. I think we both were — with Tony Brugliera at Clínica USP PalmaPlanas.
Post from Tony:
Laying in hospital bed finishing up my third day following surgery and I am both amazed and humbled how an event like this has affected me. I am no Tour de France rider by any means. I just consider myself very avid semi amateur cyclist. I know I am in really great cardiovascular shape and have this awesome cycling conditioning but holy crap it cripples me each time I do things. It gets better everyday but amazing how I can ride a close to 70 mile ride last week that climbed over several awesomely hard mountain passes( cat1 and2 climbs) but yet a simple shuffle to the shower or a wheel chair ride outside for 45 min requires me to sleep like a baby for several hours after. I know why and fully understand the physiological reasons behind it but it is still unbelievable and hard to explain what limitations I have at the moment. Not looking for any sympathy here just trying to explain the spot I am on right now as I try to move one space forward at a time to get home.
Thank you to everyone AGAIN and AGAIN for all your help and support. I know Angie Olson is keeping everyone entertained with pictures and video of me. I would be lost without such a solid supporter and someone who has been through so many surgeries herself over the years.
" I cannot say THANK YOU enough times for all the support that came out of every corner, and places I would never had thought of. I am blessed to have all of you here to help me and my family through this. It is for sure a once in a lifetime experience and a massive lesson in getting injured out of your own country. Did not know an emergency like this would unfold like a nightmare, especially when we took what I thought were the necessary steps to ensure our safety and well being. I understand the Spanish health system totally right now but I so do not agree with it one bit. Makes you appreciate the health care we have in the states. The care here is great and the surgeon was awesome,but the hospital/healthcare management is just 100% different than what I could have imagined and what it turned out to be."
I was totally psyched this morning to prove to the Dr's that I could, get out of bed, pivot, stand and transfer to a chair so that plans could be started for me to fly home. Well that excitement lasted all of 5 feet before I then struggled to not pass out while Angie Olson gave me a shower. I was so bad off when I came back into the room that the nurse was like "you are white, you need to lay flat now". I got back into bed and then woke back up 4 hours later. Amazing how exhausted I was after a 10 minute bathroom and shower adventure I went on. All of 5 feet away from my bed lol. Just taking the needed time now to rest and get stronger. Ambulating around or transitioning with only one good L arm and one good L leg is making this difficult to say the least. Even though I did enjoy the double nurse sponge bath the other day Angela is way better at getting me clean Thanks Angela for being so awesome for me.
Wow! My family and I are so grateful for all of the donations that have come in. Tony is so very blessed to have so many friends that care so much about him.
He's been in a lot of pain but still has a very positive attitude. Tony and Ang are hoping to be able to leave Spain this Saturday but they're still working out the logistics as he will have to be laying down during all of his flights back to Alaska.
To all of you that have donated, shared this page and for all your prayers and messages, I thank you!
I can not say thank you enough times for all the support that came out of every corner and places I would never had thought of. I am blessed to have all of you here to help me and my family through this. It is for sure a once in a lifetime experience and a massive lesson in getting injured out of your own country. Did not know an emergency like this would unfold like a nightmare especially when we took what I thought was the necessary steps to insure our safety and well being. I understand the Spanish health system totally right now but I so do not agree with it one bit. Makes you appreciate the health care we have in the states. The care here is great and the surgeon was awesome but the hospital/healthcare management is just 100%different than what I could have imagined and what it turned out to be.
This is my Uncle Tony. He is an amazing man incredibly selfless and a hard worker. I never hear him complain about anything and he is always quick to put a smile on your face and brighten the room. An incredible artist in his early days that inspired me to continue to refine my own talents. He has overcome great things in his life an done even greater things that has helped others so much. He has always held his weight and even more carried others through tough situations. I love my Uncle very much and am inspired by his heart daily by all he does in his life. Recently there was an accident where now I ask on his behalf for help. Any little bit helps and our family greatly appreciates it. So please, if it is on your heart to do so, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your help.
I just talked to Ang, Tony's wife. It is 10 pm in Spain so she is going to try and get some sleep. Tony is resting as well and I hope he is not in too much pain. I'll send an update as soon as I hear from them again.
Thank you so much to those of you that have donated to Tony. It is very appreciated!!
This is my brother Tony. He is an Anchorage Firefighter/Paramedic. He is a loving husband and father. An amazing brother and a great son that his parents are very proud of. He is an amazing man! Incredibly selfless and a hard worker. I never hear him complain about anything and he is always quick to put a smile on your face. He has overcome great things in his life and has done even greater things that have helped others so much. He has always held his own weight and even more when he helped carry others through their tough situations. I love my brother very much and am inspired by his heart daily by his positivity and awesome sense of humor even when things aren't going well for him.
It's been 2 weeks since his accident in Spain. After the surgery on his collar bone and hip and a week stay in the hospital in Spain he was able to fly back home. Every day since his arrival back home to Alaska he has had one medical problem after another. May 22nd he was diagnosed with a pretty lengthy DVT in his left calf. May 23rd they found not one, but TWO pulmonary embolisms. May 24th he had to have an IVC Filter put in (as if he needed MORE metal in his body). The pulmonologist took one look at the size of the clots in his lungs and declared that he was "uncomfortable" at the thought of just letting things run their course. A vascular surgeon was called in to perform the surgery and came straight from his Memorial Day Weekend of fun to do it. Thank God for the surgeon.
Tony as always, is making the best of his uncomfortable and painful situation. He's having a tough time taking deep breaths and has had some very painful "attacks" trying to catch his breath. Until these blood clots dissolve he is in a lot of danger of further complications.
This fund was started to help aleviate the extra cost of his stay and surgeries in Spain. Was only intended to run for a week or two, but considering the long road ahead of recovery and possible hip replacement, the thinking is now he is going to need all the help and support he and his family can get.
Tony would never ask for help, he is too proud, so I am asking for your help. There is nothing that is too small. So please, if it is within your heart to do so, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any and all help.
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