Almost two months ago, we were on (what was supposed to be) a three week family vacation through Chile and Argentina with my wife Geraldine, some close friends and my mother Evelyn and father Dan.
On the tenth evening of our trip, Tuesday February 20th, 2018, Dan and Evelyn were taking an evening stroll through town in Bariloche, Argentina, when Dan fell down, could not stand up, and was disoriented.
Evelyn called me saying that my Dad was in trouble and that we needed to come to them right away. We immediately rushed to the scene where the incident happened, and it was apparent that Dan was having a stroke. We called the paramedics and they rushed him to the local public hospital, which thankfully was only a couple of blocks away, Hospital A. P Bariloche Dr. Ramon Carillo.
Further tests confirmed that Dan had suffered a major intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) on the right lobe of his brain. Per the CT scans, the hemorrhage was roughly the size of an egg and the surrounding edema caused Dan to go into a coma where he stayed unconscious on life support, for approximately a week. The doctor`s initial prognosis was morbid - telling us that typically the mortality rate for a hematoma that size is around 80%. Aside from the ICH hemorrhage, the doctors informed us that Dan also had significant risks of other complications, including an enlarged heart that had been weakened over the years, his lungs were also not fully functioning and had complications with his asthma. As well, the doctors advised us that there was a strong chance that if Dan survived, that he would be paralyzed on his left side.
At that point the medical professionals advised us that if anyone else in the family wished to see Dan, that then would be a good time for them to come to Argentina… I was preparing myself for the worst, however, my mom Evelyn somehow never lost hope. Soon thereafter my brother Gene and sister Nicole arrived to Argentina.
Over the past few weeks since February 20th, so many things had improved with his condition, and Dan slowly came out of coma and after several weeks of fighting for his life and undergoing a tracheostomy, he was able to breathe without the aid of a ventilator. The weekend of the March 31st was a major milestone, in that Dan was able to move out of the intensive care unit at Hospital A. P Bariloche Dr. Ramon Carillo into the intermediary care unit. At this point Dan was very cognizant, and even writing messages to Evelyn.
We all began to feel a strong sense of hope that he might make a full recovery and we were starting making preparations for him and Evelyn`s return to Colorado.
On the evening of Wednesday April 4th, 2018 however, Dan suffered a major cardiac arrest and could not be revived. Danilo Enriquez Guevara was 71 years old.
Quoting a message from my brother-in-law Peter: `Please continue to hold Evelyn in your thoughts. Her work to bring her husband back to health in a foreign country over the last few weeks has been a testament to her capacity for love and strength. It’s poignant and beautiful that she has been tenacious in the face of pain and difficulty.`
There were SO MANY heroes in this saga of the last 2 months of Dan`s life however.
The entire Guevara family would like express a tremendous token of gratitude to the entire Kempel clan, and Geraldine`s close friends in Bariloche who visited Dan & Evelyn in the hospital almost daily over the past months, with special mention to Heini Kempel, Betiana & Cutter, Luiz Kempel, Angie Urquiza and Sophie Burgoa for being there for my parents. Without them, we could not have gotten through this tough time.
Lastly we would like to express our greatest thanks to the city of Bariloche and Hospital A. P Bariloche Dr. Ramon Carillo AND all the nurses, surgeons, doctors and staff, who worked so hard to keep Dan alive for as long as they did.
Hospital A. P Bariloche Dr. Ramon Carillo is the oldest publicly funded hospital in Bariloche, Argentina, funded solely by state and federal taxes, as well as donations from the general public. Whilst the staff at the hospital are top-notch, it gave us great comfort to know that they TRULY cared. As compared to the private sector, they are not well-paid for the work that they do every day, they do this simply because they believe in the public health care system, and that everyone has a right to be healthy, even visitors to their country.
Whilst they are in progress of building a new ward, the hospital site itself is dilapidated. The ICU unit equipment was certainly more up-to-date, however even the hospital bed where my Dad was, was cracked and worn down.
After everything that they`ve done to try to keep Dan alive, and giving us nearly two extra months with him, the hospital is not asking our family for anything at all; we will not be billed a single penny.
Rather, we feel the tremendous urge to do something in return for the hospital, the patients, the staff and the City of Bariloche.
As such, we are starting this GoFundMe page for people who loved Dan to donate, in lieu of sending flowers, to this great organization and the work that they do.
A little can go a long ways - any funds that you are able to give, could be used towards construction of the new hospital ward, the purchase of more supplies, new beds / pillows / blankets, or much needed medicines, or updated equipment.
Additionally, the Guevara family will match your gifts dollar for dollar, and donate all the funds to Hospital A. P Bariloche Dr. Ramon Carillo, in the name of Danilo Enriquez Guevara.
We believe this is what our Dad would have wanted.
Thank you so much in advance,
Paul & the entire Guevara Family
- Jason Fisher
- Rich and Veronica Perez-Voninski
- Michelle & Shawn Rocke
- Christina Peyer
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