Tita received a phone call last Wednesday saying that Viejito (as we affectionately call him) was asking to go to the hospital. Since being injured after 2 different falls last year, he has been cared for by his neighbors. Last week, a screw that had been used in his knee replacement began to poke out through his skin. This was resulting in an extreme amount of pain for him.
Tita, Shorty, Gerardo, several members of a visiting group and I went to see Viejito as soon as we could. Tita asked him if he wanted to go to the hospital, but he didn’t answer her. The dilemma in taking him is that we had been told before that the hospital wouldn’t receive him because he was too old. After praying, Tita called for an ambulance to come to the nearest street entrance.
Because of the topography of La Limonada, there is no way for an ambulance or stretcher to come directly to the house. The ambulance needed to park above the ravine, and he would be carried up to the top on a backboard through the narrow and sometimes unstable walkways that make up La Limonada. But the ambulance refused to come. Tita called a different ambulance company, but they also refused to come.
At this point, Tita and one of the group members were already on the street. They sat and prayed for God to make a way in this situation. Once they stopped praying, a woman approached them saying that she was a firefighter and wanted to help. Tita explained the situation, and this woman immediately called for an ambulance. It arrived within minutes. The ambulance crew was extremely patient and helpful, coming down into the ghetto to put Viejito on the backboard.
Although it was difficult to watch them strap him down onto the board, it was for his own safety as they and several of the men with us carried him out of the ghetto and up to the ambulance. So not only was it a miracle that an ambulance crew arrived, but the hospital received him and is currently caring for him as well. They are treating an infection and will be operating on him soon.
Please keep Viejito and the family that cares for him in your prayers.