Help Madeline Go Home
$15,250 of $10,000 goal
I've known Madeline for over fifteen years. We met when she called us to do a new website for her hotel in downtown Merida, Luz en Yucatan . The website we built together was as quirky and fun as she was, and included the ability to get a lower price on a room if you didn't make much money, or pay more if you were doing well. Luz en Yucatan grew in reputation, soon becoming the most coveted reservation in downtown Merida . Years later, Madeline sold the hotel to its current owners and moved to Montevideo, Uruguay.
Through the years, I have known Madeline to support many people less fortunate than herself. She gave money to many worthy causes and always gave people the benefit of the doubt. Madeline donated money to young entrepreneurs to start their businesses, and to young people to build houses. She was generous to a fault and is beloved by many.
In addition, Madeline is what many people would call a "character". She has a style of writing and living that is her own... she includes everyone, she suffers no fools and she always goes for the laugh, even at her own expense. And underneath her crazy-smart, gypsy, rebel soul is a huge heart of gold.
Right now, Madeline is stuck in a hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay after suffering multiple strokes and a broken leg. She is facing being kicked out by the hospital for lack of funds and, though she can't speak as a result of the strokes, she has made it clear that she just wants to go home to her own bed and her cats. If you know Madeline at all, you know how important this must be to her.
Because Madeline has no funds left to support 24-hour care, even in Uruguay, we are reaching out to the world of people who stayed at Luz en Yucatan over the years or whose lives have been touched by Madeline. If you knew Madeline, you were touched by her wit, her big heart, her generosity and her love for anything or anyone who were suffering.
Now it is Madeline who is suffering, and it is we who can help. Please donate what you can... we promise that all the funds will be used to help Madeline leave the hospital, return to her home and get back on her feet.
If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to answer them. If you don't make much money, just donate a little. If you are doing well, maybe donate a bit more. Madeline has never asked for anything for herself, and has always given so much to others... it is time for us to do that for her!
The funds are needed immediately, so please don't hesitate!!
Ellen, thanks very much for your numbers and taking care of this account. We hope it has not been too bothersome for you. We will write again at the beginning of the month requesting some money to start paying Madeline's 'helpers'.
Madeline seems to be quite cheerful with the changed arrangement that we have managed to get together for her care at the hospital where she is receiving attention from two friends of ours. She is now receiving different treatment with a different approach and the attention is focused on massage, pranic healing, reflexology and reiki. And she is visited every day. One of her ' helpers' Luz, spends a great deal of time with her and has managed to bring Madeline much confort as also Claudia, who takes a very varied approach as she sees is required. We can only report that the male nurse that was constantly on Maddie's floor and the sole physiotherapist at the hospital are both impressed by the rapid reaction from Madeline in spots that seemed not to be moving along as would have been desirable. So this advance is very encouring for all of us and particularly for Madeline, and of couse she understands the meaning of this start towards mobility in these areas. So Vicky and I have come to the conclusion that this constant and daily attention and movement on her part, is very encouraging for Maddie herself because she greets her two helpers with delight. Naturally, this does not include our intent to introduce the podiatrist which,
must in any case, come about in the very near future.
In any case, we do understand that this process is going to take a while, but we already see, a very marked change in her approach to all these
exercises. We have been very fortunate to find these friends who are willing and able to lend a hand. For this gentle approach to be effective, it is essential that it should be daily on a continued basis. We see Madeline more positive and very willing to cooperate and help.
We are all of us extremely grateful for the continued support for Madeline's welfare and health. We hope to have some information from the lawyer very soon and we will communicate with you as soon as is possible.
And to Antonio and Luis, muchísimas gracias por el apoyo tan cariñoso para Madeline y que a nosotras nos ayuda a empujar para ésto y seguir buscando
soluciones para el bienestar de Madeline.
After our last letter to you when Madeline's leg and arm were not doing their job, we checked into the situation and talked to the hospital physiotherapist and Madeline's nurse who has always been helpful to us, and the doctor who is doctor of that section. We asked about Madeline's bed being put where it is, which means that she thus leans on her weaker arm and leg because we wanted to turn her bed around to avoid this. But it appears that it is Madeline's request to be in the position she is in, viz that is facing the door. We also asked if we were allowed to send in a podiatrist and we also would like them to try to send different food as she apears to not want what she is presently being given. All these things stem from Madeline's refusal to have matters changed so it is obviously a matter of gentle persuasion and if need be, absolute insistence we will have to excercise.
On the plus side, we have been so bold as to engage a masseuse who is very nice and also does Pranic Healing and Reiki and has a very nice way about her
and she will see Madeline twice a week. At the same time, a friend of ours, Luz del Alba, known as Luz, the translation of her name means Dawn Light who has worked in another hospital for 36 years and who has been very kind and willing to do an almost daily visit to Madeline and to carry on gentle physiotherapy and to this end we got the hospital physiotherapist to come and look at what Luz was doing and he said that he would change nothing and she was doing exactly what he would be doing had he had the time to devote to her.
You will be pleased to hear that Madeline is so enthused with the fact that the physiotherapy is getting moving, having been a victim of the January, February holidays which are the same thing as Paris in August, so much so that she managed with an absolute iron will to get out of her bed and into a cushioned chair beside her bed.
Of course, this was not on her own, she had her masseuse Claudia, Luz, myself and the nurse Gualberto, all lending a hand as was indicated as we went along. Once in her chair, her physio started, arms, hands, feet, legs and a very generous helping of almond oil rubbed into the skin as she went along. Needless to say, she was extremely pleased and has taken to Luz and Claudia very well and Luz is willing to go four time a week (Claudia will go twice a week) so that will leave only Sunday as day of rest. Our idea is to make the physio not too long (45 mins) and very constant and daily. I know she is delighted with Luz also so it seems we have the right crew together. We also will add something that is not medical but that we think you will enjoy, and that is the staff that we have spoken to, say that for the Hospital they consider Madeline part of the Hospital because she is always cheerful with them and has been with them for so many months.
We feel that Washington has his hands full since his wife also works in a hospital and with a new baby they now have three daughters, one with learning disabilities.As Madeline seems to require a different kind of attention now, we will talk to Washington and we cannot afford his services any longer as we will be taking on Claudia and Luz and this very important, we are letting it be known that they are simply very good friends that are helping us at no cost.
This last is very important as we under no circumstances want Washington to appear discarded as all this takes place in his hospital and we want it to be as discreet and positive as we can make it. bearing in mind where we can best use any funds that are to help Madeline. So our intention is to terminate our financial responsibilities with Washington at the end of this month, including month's end, and then we have already started our commitment with Madeline and Luz as we could see that there was no time to waste if we wanted to use this tremendous surge of energy that Madeline was showing.
So this would mean that in the case of Claudia, for as long as she is willing to help us, we would be owing her U$S 300-- a month. She normally takes patients at her office but so far she has not mentioned anything about transport costs and just hoping that she will not. With Luz we would be paying her U$S 350.- a month which though they will be charging us, these rates are definitely friendship rates. For example, Luz has today not spent just a so called hour but rather has been at the hospital eight hours talking to everybody necessary to gather all the information and tips and seeing if we can rearrange a few things for Madeline.
We took the initiative of putting this in motion because it seemed that the only way to get things moving was, as our mother used to say 'Just do it!'.
We trust this meets with your approval and we have to say that we have given this a lot of thought as we have put it in motion.
Your comments would be very welcome and we feel that Madeline seems to enjoy this change. Of course, that won't last once the podiatrist arrives.!!
The hospital has asked us to supply a wheel chair and diapers as of course they are in short supply - I know they have only two wheelchairs and are chronically short of diapers. We think we might be able to solve this here amongst our friends but should this for any reason, not be possible, we will have to rent the wheelchair and buy the diapers. The hospital until now has really has not asked us for anything and has really been very generous, so we will try to meet their requests via friends.
Vicky and I thought you might like to know of our little birthday visit to Maddy at the end of last week. We did not know the exact date but then we assumed that she did not either. In any case, the idea was to have a surprise visit with a few nice munchies that she would enjoy; not to mention her roommate Lorelei who downed anything within reach and even beyond which were Vicky's homemade brownies, some sweet butter croissants with ham and cheese filling and small cocktail sandwiches with assorted fillings. There were plenty of all of these, one tray of each to eat immediately and a second tray of each to take care of the midnight feast.
Anyway we were overjoyed to see that Madeline thoroughly enjoyed herself. The festivities were helped along by the transistor radio hanging from her bed with old melodies and producing a general singalong from Maddy, Lorelei and Vicky and myself with Maddy waving her hands in the air conducting the festivities. As we arrived Madeline stunned me, Virginia, by indicating that she expected a kiss from both of us which Lorelei indicated was due her also. The teaparty was extended to the nurses' station and were very happy to have a tasty afternoon treat. We stayed for well over an hour and I think it would be extremely fair to say, that a good time was had by all. One of the nurses from the nurses station, had been moved to another floor previously and we had a surprise visit from him to Maddy to wish her a happy birthday. Naturally Washington was invited by us, of course in the afternoon he is at the very large Medica Uruguaya. We also sent emails to include Shirley and Syd and Gundy but had no reply. It was wonderful to see Maddy in such good spirit and Leslie, I'm sure you will be happy to know that your card, your One Cool Cat with the glasses on the cat, was again stuck on the wall, right in front of her line of sight at Maddys request.
Maddy once again had prepared a note with the word PARMT and when I got home and had a chance to look at it, I recognized that it was a very good attempt to write Parmet. The previous note of an earlier date, you might recall had several numbers on it such as
70 000 and 4000 and perhaps another number or two but even better she had written in large caps and very clearly the word HOME.
While Maddy did not actually talk to us, she was extremely clear by her gestures as to what she was saying and I dont think we felt there was any misunderstanding or confusion in our silent dialogue. Maddy was very alert and while she is thinner and looks very well, and her feet jumped immediately when I tickled the soles, her legs do seem quite a bit thinner.
We wanted to share Maddy's birthday with all of you who have done so much with visits and phone calls and singalongs to keep her alert and fairly chipper, though of course she does have her good and bad days. In any case, this was certainly a very good day.
We did mention the mail strike that has been going on for quite a while and explain that she had some nice red socks that might eventually reach her and some red glasses from Betsy which sooner or later will come to the surface. We both think that she took it all in. She does love her glasses from Leslie with the sparklies on the frame and uses them all the time.
We send all of you a very affectionate greeting and trust that the narrative of this happy day is clear with our description of it. Cariños to all. Perhaps it would be timely to send everyone our Christmas greetings which we can always do again nearer the date but in the event that this does not come about, we know that we have sent our warm Christmas greetings and best wishes.
Virginia and Vicky.
I hasten to send this message because I have to confess that I was really very pleased to see Mady and her frame of mind today when I took Leslie's presents to her. She was in a very positive frame of mind and was really delighted with her nightie (which I was
instructed to put back in the mailing envelope) and she was very delighted with the rhinestone glasses which she immediately put on and did not take off even when I left. She had a good laugh and was absolutely delighted with your card of a cat wearing giant glasses and a message 'You're a cool cat now' I think, and so much so that there was some balloons floating around and Madeline detached the biggest balloon and we stuck it on the wall and the card underneath it; she was truly delighted. I read your card to her and she was very happy with that too and she instructed me to put the case of the glasses deep inside the cupboard.
At one point I pulled up a chairband sat by her bed and tickled the soles of both her feet and to my delight, she immediately reacted to the tickle. Now, I may be wrong but I seem to recall that she used to respond to the tickle of one foot (I cannot recall if it was left or right). She had once again written out in her own writing several numbers which were more or less repeated on the paper she gave me today and again she put the word HOME. I showed her my tatty notebook where she was able to see that yes I did have all this info which she hadbgiven to Shirley with instructions to give it to me and I think she was pleased to see that her messages and our communication amongst all of us is there. Anyway, what I would like to share with you is that I came back from my visit to her feeling quite elated because she seemed genuinely pleased to see me. I also made clear to her that she must not worry about things that are removed from her cupboard, because there is nothing we can do about this and I know that she does not want a fuss with the staff. So I just said to use and enjoy the things and whatever shall be, shall be. She did repeat the word Home and we talked a little about it and I explained to her that Laura was very much on top of it all and being extremely conscious of the passage of time. In any case, I did explain a couple of the complications and I think she understood that though it felt to her that nothing was happening, in fact quite a lot was happening and a lot of people care about her and each was doing whatever was within their reach to help her.
Anyway, I just wanted to pass this on to you because I wanted let you know that her spirits were in very good form today and the gifts sent were received with delight. I am still trying to negotiate a podiatrist and see if we can arrange something which she does not want but hopefully will finally accept.
The way we see it, the coming three months will be vital - December is difficult to get anything done, January is judicial holiday and nothing is done, February will be a month of trying to sort things out and hopefully then March will be the key month to get things moving. Madeline then would need, at the very least, to be covered financially until April in any case. This would cover Washington, the physiotherapists and the voice therapists as we have been doing until now.
With lots of cariños. Virginia and Vicky.
P.S. to ask you for the date of Madeline's birthday soonest, if it is soon so that we can have a little occasion for her.
Thanks, Virginia and Vicky, for the news. So good to hear Maddy is progressing and that she enjoyed her birthday. Felicidades!
Thank you for continuing this worthwhile project. Madeline has touched so many of our lives.
Such good news--the love and generosity of friends is awesome!
Good job, Ellen. Thanks for keeping us informed. Prayers for Madeline.