Leo's Medical fund

“Further help needed for Leo Ortega to recover as he transitions from Uruguay back home via Chile and Brisbane within 2-3 months”

Update from Leo Ortega:

A huge and heartfelt thanks to all of my friends and community all over the world for the incredible support you provided for me during my sudden and unexpected life changing illness in November.  I was incredibly moved when I learned of this campaign and the support provided by you all has made a vast difference to my recovery process for both me and my family. 

I travelled to Chile in November 2017 to present an animation at a conference in the University of Santiago. This animation was a collaboration between myself and the Larapinta Artists.  After the conference I travelled to Uruguay to visit my son Dario who moved there 2 years ago. The first night in Uruguay, when we were in an apartment in a remote town called La Paloma, I suffered a ruptured aneurysm in my brain, fell and hit my head on some stone steps resulting in two separate but severe brain injuries.  My son found me unconscious in the morning and called an ambulance.  I then spent 16 days in ICU and underwent two brain surgeries in different public hospitals.  Initially I was kept in an induced coma for about a week and then heavily sedated for another month or so, of which I remember nothing.  
As a result of these injuries I was left with a (hopefully temporary) hemiparesis, the lack of strength and coordination of my left side.
It's been three months since the accident and using physiotherapy, occupational therapy and lots of rest I am now up and walking with a walking stick.  I still need lots of support which I am getting mainly from my mum who cooks and cleans for me and provides everything I need. I can cook a little, take a shower, go for a short walk and I have managed to walk on the beach several times!  I sleep a great deal which is a common side effect of brain injury. I also have difficulty concentrating and remembering.  I have not yet managed to catch public transport, cook an entire meal or pursue my work for example.  
I still need to improve a great deal in order to be able to live independently and work as a video and animation freelancer in Alice Springs again.  Fortunately I feel ready to leave Uruguay now and travel to Chile where I will spend about 3 more weeks making the most of my mum’s amazing support and then in late March I will travel to Australia.  There's no rehabilitation program available in Alice Springs, so the plan is to first spend a month in Brisbane attending a good rehabilitation centre there before going back home to Alice Springs.

On hearing of my situation, my family rushed to my side and have supported me  in every possible way.  My community of friends in Australia also created a crowdfunding campaign to raise money which was used to pay for a fantastic apartment where my family including my mum, son, Katelnd and Lirio and for the last month, myself were able to stay in Uruguay over the last 10 weeks.  Additionally this money helped Katelnd and LIrio to travel to Uruguay from Australia, bought equipment such as a walking frame, wheelchair hire, taxis to and from hospital appointments and some additional support at a rehab clinic when the hospital was unavailable.  I have not had any income for three months since the injury, since I have been in hospital in a country where I am not entitled to any government assistance. Fortunately most of the hospital care has been free. 
The amazing GoFundMe campaign funds are now all spent and we still need some more help. I will not have any income until I have been in Australia for about a month and Centrelink can process my claim for sickness benefit. It is now up to my family to cover all of my ongoing costs and this will become prohibitive especially once I reach Australia.  We have found an excellent rehab program for me to attend at very low cost in Brisbane. However I will also need assistance with rent, food, transport and living costs until some income starts to come though. 

So that is why we have created another round of fundraising, if you can spare a little more, this will be hugely helpful to me in making my transition from Uruguay to Chile and then back to Australia a little smoother and will take the pressure off my family who have already given far more than their due.  Its going to be bumpy and its going to take a long time, possibly a year.  Whatever you can give will be hugely appreciated.

Donations

  • Pip Mcmanus 
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
  • Nicole Crowe 
    • $100 
    • 28 mos
  • Tom Ht 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Colleen Carnes 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Carolyn Newman 
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
See all

Organizer

Ahmed Adam Ibrahim 
Organizer
Alice Springs, NT
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