Hi my name is Marlon Porras, a 21 year old resident of Monteverde Costa Rica currently struggling with back pain issues. In 2011, I had an accident on a horse where my back got injured, I had pain for a couple of days and then it went away, so I didn’t paid much attention to it. Two years later, I went on a mountain bike ride, got home, took a shower and went to sleep, next day at 5 in the morning I woke up needing to go to the restroom but for my surprise I couldn’t feel neither move my legs at all. I went to the local clinic and got some shoots but I still couldn’t fell or move my legs for another whole week. At our local clinic we don’t have X-rays, so they referred me to the nearest hospital which is in Puntarenas, 2 hours away from my community.
At the hospital, they gave me an appointment for 2 years later and they said that this was the only appointment they had available. After those 2 years, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a hernia on my vertebrae in between L4-L5. I’ve been in pain all these years and before the official diagnose, and I've been trying to get the surgery through the public hospitals in costa Rica but I’ve been waiting for the call since 2013 and my pain has increased day by day.
On March 22, 2018, my family composed by a single mother and 3 brothers decided to take me to see a neurosurgeon private doctor. She (the doctor) once again confirmed the hernia but it had doubled it’s size since the public doctor saw me in 2015 and also said that I had already lost movement force on my legs. The doctor also said that if surgery wasn’t done soon I had the chance to become paralytic and lose the feeling and movement of my legs, also there is risk I could lose control of my urine and my erection which means no kids in the future and my defecation which means I would have to use diapers for the rest of my life. The surgery through a private hospital is too expensive for my single mom to afford it and I get no help from my dad.
I’m currently a veterinary student in San José which is 4 hours away from home, the pain in my back is now holding me back from finishing my career do to the daily pain I’m in. I can't walk long distance, can’t lift anything that weighs more than 50 pounds, can’t play sport or anything besides swimming, so this is keeping me away from a lot of thing that I love to do, specially finishing my career to support my family.
I’m trying to get the money to finance my surgery through a private hospital because the waiting list at the public hospital does not have space for my surgery for the next 3 to 5 years. I cannot wait that long do to the severeness of my hernia and the constant pain I have. The private neurosurgeon indicated that the surgery and post physical therapy have a cost of around 8 million Colones (which is about $15,000.00 dollars). So, I ask for your generous support to help me get the surgery I need.
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