Our dad, Stephen Rose moved to Honduras and married his wonderful wife, Iliana Marina Rose in March of 2013. The couple was very much in love and married in the paradise of Honduras, deciding to live in Siguatepeque.
Over the next few years, Dad and Iliana were very happy. He frequently commented, "I live in paradise!" What a wonderful fairy tale!! Gentleman meets a lovely lady later in life, falls in love and marries in a tropical paradise location.
But, there is a catch. Isn't there always a catch?
You know that one single thing that brings the wonderful story crashing down like a house of cards. For our father, the catch was he got sick. And not just a little sick but REALLY sick.
In April of this year, Dad was diagnosed with renal failure. By August of 2017, he had his first hospital admission. Honestly, I think it caught him off guard or perhaps he was in denial. Either way, he was chronically and critically ill in a foreign country. While Dad spoke the language, we were back in the United States and we didn't speak any Spanish. Sweet Iliana, spoke Spanish but couldn't always answer our questions. We couldn't even be sure that we were asking the right questions because we didn't understand the language!
THE LAST DAYS
For the next 60 days, Dad was in and out of the hospital. Treatment regimens didn't always make sense and were different than what we were used to experiencing. Getting information back and forth was extremely difficult, if not impossible. The language barrier became an ongoing challenge. Dad was unable to manage his condition and couldn't explain to us the problems. He was just too sick. No one else spoke English and we didn't speak Spanish. We worked with Iliana and translators via phone, but hearing loss made that a different type of communication challenge.
The treatments generated large medical bills. At one point, medicine alone was $100 per day. Our step-mother, Iliana provided care for our Dad night and day. We tried to get a nurse to come in and help but were not successful. As Dad's illness progressed, he became restless and kept Iliana up at night asking the same questions over and over.
By the 3rd hospital admission, we were sending so much money for bills. Always unclear of Dad's condition, we never knew clearly the final outcome. Iliana tried to explain but the culture is different and that dictates interpretation of messages. We didn't fully understand laws that pertain to patients or the situations she found herself in.
And Dad's condition continued to decline...lower and lower....and lower still. We felt like we lived in quicksand. Not only were we dealing with our grief over losing our father, but all the rules changed. Some days, it felt like the rules changed multiple times a day. Dad got weaker and could communicate less and less. His kidneys failed, his vision failed and his hearing failed. He was fading, and fading fast.
The last week was the absolute worst. Dad must have sensed the end was near. He began waking Iliana up sometimes at 4:00 AM. He would ask Iliana to call us in the United States. For the last week of Dad's life, he called me three times a day. Each time he would beg me to come home to the United States. How do you refuse a dying man's last wish? I could not.
I found a service to help repatriate Dad. The cost was very high. But, I was willing to do it no matter what. We arranged a bed-to-bed service from his bed in Honduras to my living room where we were going to have to set up a hospital bed. The only piece that was missing was he had to pass the Medical Certification to board. Unfortunately, Dad couldn't pass. His condition was too critical. He had slipped too low and our window of opportunity had passed.
THE LAST TIME
The last time I talked to Dad, he was very excited about getting strong and "coming home." The next day, 10/1/2017, Dad slipped into a coma. He was rushed by ambulance to the hospital but suffered cardiac arrest. Dad was placed on life support but passed away on Friday; 10/6/2017 after life support was removed. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, my Dad knew Jesus and he sits with Him now, however, for us, Dad's paradise became our nightmare.
The nightmare didn't end when Dad died.
His hospital stay left a large hospital bill. The hospital wouldn't release his body for burial without the bill being paid in full. Every day we got information that was different than the day before. To make matters even worse, Dad died on a Honduran national holiday. Doctor, support staff, all were off until Monday. Finally, he was released for burial but, now we are left with depleted savings and large end of life medical bills. From the numerous hospital bills, my step-mother, brothers and sisters are left with limited resources.
Here is what we are requesting, hopefully it won't be too much. Remember, you eat an elephant one bite at a time!
If you knew Dad and loved him, or if you know one of his kids, please find it in your heart to contribute just $5.00
Send this Go Fund Me campaign to all the people on your friends list. Ask them to read our story. That's it!!
Our prayer is that others will read this story and be moved by our experience enough to contribute $5.00 and send on to their friends. By using the power of the internet, we hope to reach others and find a way to resolve our nightmare. God is faithful in every situation to supply grace and mercy sufficient for this day.
Won't you help us?
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