It was an unremarkable day. Maura was driving her Moto-taxi up the steep dirt roads of Villa Maria Trufino in Lima, Peru, with her son and his teacher in the back seat when a stray dog jumped in front of her car and caused a crash, catapulting her out of the roof of her car.
That was in November of 2011- in March of 2016 Maura has a large metal apparatus sticking out of her right leg with 6 spikes puncturing her skin and going right into her bone. MEDLIFE nurse Carmen had come to check up on her, and bring her gauze, saline water and disinfectant to clean her leg.
The apparatus is designed to finally force her bones into alignment and unity after five long years of being broken. Maura may not have been able to walk since 2011, but she is still moving forward on the long path to recovery.
The car crash destroyed her leg, breaking her bones and tearing her skin, she needed surgery. While she was able to get an operation through the public health system- the surgery left her worse off than when she started. Maura was the victim of medical malpractice (the story of which is detailed in this post), her doctor incorrectly performed the operation and left her with detached bones in her leg and a loose bolt. She no longer had insurance she could fall back on and use.
This is how MEDLIFE found Maura, and promptly got her the first of two surgeries she needs.
Now, she is waiting for a specially designed plate for her next surgery that the doctor will put in to finally connect her two bones.
It has been three months of waiting for the second surgery, but it cannot be done without the plate, which must be manufactured specially for her case outside of Peru and imported. Maura’s home is high in the hills of Via Maria, it would be too hard for her to live up there while recovering, even with the staircase MEDLIFE built to give her better access to her house.
Her niece and ex-husband have been supporting her by renting her a room at the bottom of the hill. She still has to look after her three-year-old son Angel while recovering, who as we were visiting dropped bread on the ground and ten proceeded to knock everything of off the nightstand. The walls are covered in crayon streaks, which Angel had colored when Maura was in the shower one time.
Maura didn’t get upset, she remained calm, light, her demeanor betrays little of the hardships of the past five years. She just laughed and calmly convinced Angel to pick the things up. Even though caring for a three year old while she is crippled is hard, Maura says that Angel is more of a help than a burden.
“Angel is my helper. Even though he is a child he understands, he always helps me,” Maura said. “He gives me the strength to go out. I was depressed, but I have to keep moving forward with my life for him.”
Soon, Maura will get the operation she needs to begin walking again and move forward with her life. Until, then, MEDLIFE will continue supporting her.