I was quite dazed after the accident and not thinking clearly and could not find my phone. Somehow, this made me decide the best decision was to get back to Taichung City where I live and take my computer so that I could have a way to contact people. I was somehow able move the scooter after the accident and park it somewhere nearby but have no memory where, so I will have to find it when I am better. I then hailed a taxi to the Taipei bus station and took a bus to Taichung, and I slept the entire 2 hour bus ride back. As soon as I arrived in Taichung and was awake, I noticed a puddle of blood round my feet on the floor and that I was in pain. Before that, I was not even aware I was injured.
By the insistence of kind strangers who called an ambulance while I was still trying to find a taxi to get home in my concussed stupor I was picked up by paramedics and taken to Linshin Hospital in Taichung. There, after the initial intake and a few days of waiting the doctor performed a debridement surgery to remove dead tissue and debris from my shin. They also repaired a ruptured ligament in my knee. I then spent 2 weeks there recovering on a morphine drip until being told I was well enough to be discharged. I received daily scrubbings of all my wounds, which was easily one of the worst experiences of my life. Unfortunately, with no phone or contact method I couldn’t even let anybody know where I was for nearly a week.
I am currently in Taiwan on a visitor visa and do not have an ARC, and without that I do not qualify for Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program. Therefore, I must bear the full cost of my medical treatment. I also just returned from a recent trip home to see my family. Those travel expenses depleted my savings; which gives me the horrible reality of having no money to cover my medical fees.
When I was discharged from the hospital I ran into some issues that I couldn’t quite comprehend until a bit of thought processing and second opinions. The Linshin doctor told me that following discharge all I have to do is keep the wound clean and change the bandages daily by coming into the hospital outpatient center, for a full recovery within a few weeks. Later in the day, right before my discharge the hospital’s financial department came into my room to chat with me. After talking to them, I was told that if I couldn’t pay the bill I would not be able to return to the hospital for further treatment. I tried to offer a solution to make monthly payments, but the head nurse asked for my passport as collateral which I was unwilling to do so she said they cannot help me.
Luckily, on my way out a very kind nurse advised me that it would be better to find a small clinic to do my bandage changes in order to save a lot of money. Unfortunately, on my first visit to the clinic as soon as the doctor removed my bandages, with a very shocked look he asked why I was not still in the hospital as I had an incomplete operation. Then he told me there was no possible way the wound would heal without skin graft surgery. He was easily able to see that the previous debridement surgery was performed in preparation for a future skin graft. This was the first time hearing this information, with no mention of skin grafts during my whole time at Linshin. I panicked when I heard this and had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the clinic.
Without knowing what to do next I made a desperate post on Facebook. With the help of some good friends, I was introduced to Haxstrong Charity group who steered me in the right direction of what I need to do in Taiwan to get proper medical care in my situation. Within 24 hours I was referred to Kuangtien Hospital in Taichung. Now I’m booked in to have a skin graft surgery on Monday July 31st. Following the surgery, I will need to stay in the hospital for a further 9-12 days for monitoring while I begin my recovery.
Personal support from Haxstrong and I returned to Linshin hospital to speak with the involved staff in my care such as the doctor, finance office, and social workers to understand more about what happened. We were mainly curious why I there was never any mention of skin grafts and that I required this surgery for my wound to heal. Ultimately, it seemed nobody wanted to directly answer our questions. After leaving the hospital feeling very disappointed, to make matters even worse, a social worker contacted me to inform me that a $40,000twd ($1320usd) grant I had already been approved for to help pay my medical bill at Linshin was suddenly being denied by the head of the department. We sought further guidance on what to do next after this. Now I am currently planning to seek mediation with the local district office and consulting with others for further advice on next steps.
I really feel embarrassed, sorry, and helpless but I need to make a plea to anybody who might be able to donate financially to help me recover from this situation. Any amount can help and I am more than thankful for anything you can spare. If you don’t have anything to give, you can just send me some funny jokes or good memories about our time together. Unfortunately, cash runs this world and that’s what I am short on now so I have no choice but to make this plea. I am making as much of my own sacrifices and selling everything I can of my own to accumulate money rather than just relying on donations. I’ll be selling all my extra belongings I’ve accumulated, my racing scooter, and perhaps my new scooter too if it comes down to it. Right now as it stands, my bill is:
TOTAL = NTD$274,500 / USD$9,150
The costs currently stand as follows. Prices in NTD Taiwan Dollars (USD$1 = NTD$31)
1. $132,000 = Linshin Hospital Total Bill
2. $90,000 = Kuangtien Hospital Total Bill
3. $18,000 = Apartment rent for 3 months
4. $4,500 = Utilities for 3 months (Electricity etc.)
5. $30,000 = Food for 3 months. Budget of approx. $300 per day.
Thank you in advance to anybody who can help me in this most difficult moment of my life!