Eulogio Orccotoma lay in bed, staring at the translucent ceiling that bled dreamy yellow light into the room. He listened to cumbia on the radio as his son, Yuri Orccotoma Gomez, brought him breakfast, which Yuri dutifully did every morning before heading out to work in his moto taxi. Eulogio was bored. He was bored because he had lain in this bed for nearly a year waiting.
He was bored because he had left his land in the Peruvian Andes outside of Cusco that he had worked his entire life. He had left the freedom of that land, with its blue skies, where you walk or ride a horse instead of drive, with its fresh air, peace and quiet. He left all that come to the ironically named Nueva Esperanza (New Hope), one of the poorest and most undeveloped districts in Lima, with its grey skies, its polluted air, and its harsh soundscape of barking stray dogs, honking horns, and blaring Latin music. Desert dirt and sand mixed with dilapidated urban decay. Eulogio had gone from being a free farmer in the Andes to a dependent patient trapped in a waiting room for a year- he wasn’t happy about it.
Yuri had come here in search of better work opportunities, and a respite from what he saw as a boring life in an Andean pueblito. Eulogio had come with him years later in hopes of getting good medical treatment, but one year later, he was still lying in bed waiting. After a year of waiting on the public health system, Eulogio had still not been able to start any treatment.
Eulogio lived his life working the land in the same Andean pueblito his parents did. He raised his kids there, all of whom left to seek better opportunities elsewhere, some in Cusco, only a few hours away, or in Lima, like Yuri.
Eulogio’s kids left, then his wife passed away and he was all alone. His kids tried to get him to come to the city with them, but he refused. His children made sure someone visited him every month.
They noticed Eulogio’s lifestyle wasn’t healthy- he wasn’t eating well. He would go to work all day with nothing but a large bottle of soda or skip meals. He had always had his wife to cook for him. He was, however, still managing to get by, so they let him stay where he wanted.
On one such visit, after Eulogio had been living alone for awhile, Yuri noticed his father had trouble moving, he wasn’t leaving the house much. Yuri noticed Eulogio’s pants become visibly wet during a conversation- he could no longer control his bladder. Yuri looked around for all the animals his father once had, guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, horses, and realized most of them had died or disappeared.
Yuri insisted his father leave, he didn’t feel Eulogio could continue living alone, he needed medical attention. Yuri and his siblings took him to a hospital in Cusco, he was diagnosed with a bladder obstruction and arthritis. In January of 2015, they decided he would be better off in Lima with Yuri, where there was better medical care available.
Better, being a very relative term in this instance- better, but not good. A year later, no treatment had begun in the public health system.
Eulogio and Yuri have been told they will have to wait another two months to get the MRI the doctors need to begin treatment. MEDLIFE encountered Eulogio in a mobile clinic, have him medicine and is committed to ensuring he gets the treatment he needs, with our without the public health systems help.