After Schaeffer began experiencing bouts of confusion, they agreed that he should be seen in a local clinic for evaluation, just to be safe. He was admitted for observation, but things seemed okay. The symptoms subsided and they were looking forward to getting back to their friends' pre-wedding festivities and enjoying the remainder of their trip- they were leaving for an island off of Greece the next morning, where they would stay the rest of their trip.
Without warning, Schaeffer experienced a severe grand mal seizure that landed him in the ICU. Alone in a foreign hospital, with an unresponsive boyfriend, Nicole reached out for help. With very little cell service, she was desperate to establish contact with Schaeffer's MGH PCP so that his care team in Greece could get his history and effectively treat him. Everyone pulled together to facilitate necessary contact, and Schaeffer began to recover from the seizure. Our physician colleagues at MGH even established contact with affiliates in Greece to ensure that Schaeffer was receiving the best possible care in the area. The Chief of Surgery at the Athens Medical Center requested that Schaeffer be moved to their larger hospital from the smaller private clinic they were in, but the Neurologist overseeing Schaeffer's care emphasized the risk of the transfer, because without a diagnosis, he was still considered unstable.
Unfamiliar with the health care landscape in Greece, and adhereing the recommendation, they stayed at the private clinic in Athens. As of today, 7/20/17, they have learned that Schaeffer has accrued a significant cost for his care. As a result, they are being discharged, against medical advice. Schaeffer has been stable and improving (yay!) but his care team did recommend an additional 24-48 hours for observation to ensure that there will be no adverse reaction to the antiepileptic medication he is on. Because of the cost, he has declined to stay and will relocate to a public hospital if symptoms return prior to their flight home. He is in contact with MGH Neurology and will be thoroughly
evaluated when he returns to Boston.
What Schaeffer and Nicole have been through over the past week is unimaginable- a true nightmare. Between medical bills ($8,500 to date), extending their hotel in Athens while still paying for the hotel they scheduled to stay at in Spetses (where Nicole should have been the maid of Honor at her friends wedding), potentially having to adjust their flight home, the financial burden is significant. They've had to face this tramatic turn of events alone oversees, but we can help alleviate the financial burden together.
If you don't know Schaeffer, who I lovingly refer to as "the mayor of the PBO", he would do anything for anyone. Please consider being part of the team that pulls together to help him in the only way we really can during this difficult time. Anything is appreciated.
***Schaeffer has allowed me to disclose this information at my request***
- Kristen Kiewlicz
- Sonia Maria Magliocchetti
- Christie James
- Michael Piro
- Lindsey & Mike Reilly
Organizer and beneficiary
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