May 12th, 8:00am Lima

It’s been a little difficult to get reliable internet access even at the hotel so apologies for the lack of posts recently.

I did go into the hospital yesterday and was quite shocked at the muscle wasting in Will’s arms and legs compared to his state 3 weeks ago when I left.  I have switched his food to a raw organic meal replacement powder and discussed it with the nutritionist (who was remarkably open to the idea) and I fed him his first batch.

After a brief visit to the outside pharmacy to get some supplies, I came back to find a nurse giving him a bed bath and helped her wash his hair. During this, when he was being rolled over, he opened both eyes and they remained open for the next hour. I was able to test pupil response with a strong light and there was slow but definite reaction to light from both eyes and in equal measure.  I played him some music and talked to him constantly and was able to look directly into his eyes. He is not able to “see” me and it is not like when you are looking at someone who is fully conscious but I believe his realises I am there and a known person.  This was an encouraging sign of his brain activity and is a progression from when I left him but it is still unknown what this really means in terms of his recovery and ability to regain full consciousness.  But I am truly hopeful because of this.

The hospital doctor said that as soon as he is over his infection (which has been clearing up after taking him off anti-biotics) they want to discharge him but as there is no “home” for him to go to I went to see 2 care home facilities with Denise. They are both basic facilities and cost around $1000 a month including supplies like oxygen and daily needs.  This is an option until we know if we can get him flown back.

Thanks to his friend Jess, the Lucie Blackman Trust has been in contact with me and they are liaising with the Foreign Office, their own advisors and known air ambulance companies to see if we can get him flown back. It will take everyone’s help to fund this if it is possible, so please gear up for making an extra effort to spread the word for donations.

As usual, your love, prayers and willingness to talk to others and get donations is vital to Will’s recovery. The fact that he has got this far is a testament to that, so thanks for what you are doing.

Denise has been truly amazing in helping Will – I am exhausted after just one day so to do this all week for the last 3 weeks takes real dedication and strength.

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May 9th, 8:30 PST

No changes to report over the weekend. I am heading down there again tomorrow and will be with the doctors Weds morning for a full update. My intention is to get a new set of scans and a doctor’s report so his condition can be re-assessed in terms of current and long term prognosis.

This is where he is now. He has been bought an anti-bedsore mattress and good pillows for his head and feet and I will be taking better nutritional supplements to feed him on.

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May 7th 2:00pm PST

Denise went to see Will again today and the doctors will be stopping his anitbiotics for 2 days as they want to rule out antibiotics as being the cause of his constant fever. 

They will be doing some tests to evaluate infection and proceed accordingly. Staff are doing the best they can under the circumstances/conditions. 

Will is still in a critical condition, and the goal is still to return him to the UK. Dos de Mayo is a national hospital accommodating the poorest people who come in with all sorts of infection to which Will’s body might not be strong enough to withstand.

Denise rescued a loose tooth today (it could have fallen out and choked him) so it is a daily vigil to keep him as healthy as possible.  I will be down there again to assess what we can do with all the alternatives available at this point.  

Denise has been incredibly generous with her time and attention to Will’s needs and without her daily visits he would be in much worse shape. 

May 5th, 2:00pm PST

Denise has been in already today and the doctors have rolled him over to relieve him of some bed sores. I have a special salve which I will be taking down with me to aid in recovery and to guard against infections. He has been on his back for 35 days.

He did open both his eyes fully when being rolled over but he really wasn’t ‘there’ Denise said.  I hope to be able to communicate something with him.

May 4th, 8:00am PST

I can’t help myself as I only get one opportunity to say this each year but…….May the 4th be with you!

With that over, Denise is in the hospital with Will as I write this and has communicated that Will is in a sectioned off area within the general ward to try and keep him better isolated from infection. He is still requiring medicine every couple of days and he has been bought a few simple sleeveless T shirts to keep him warm at night even though it is still very hot during the day.

I am building up a care package including a high quality protein and supplement mix (I work in a health store part time) along with other supplies to take down with me.

We are looking at long term care in a way which will keep his strength up, keep his muscles working and keep him free of infection, doing whatever we can to help him resurface to a higher level of consciousness. My wish is to be there if he opens his eyes again so he knows he is with a familiar person as I’m sure he will be completely disorientated not knowing where he is and how long he has been there.

Thanks for continuing to keep him in your prayers and helping to spread the word about the funding campaign.

Sea Travel option

I have researched the options for sea travel for Will’s return and even more restrictions apply than on airlines. Cruise liners would not allow anyone on board who has been sick for 3 days before the journey and they wouldn’t let someone on in a coma with potential for infection.

I would not consider cargo ship travel at this point.

The only option is Air Ambulance or private jet accompanied by a doctor.

May 2nd, 10:00 PST

Rosa was in to visit this morning and is arranging a meeting with the doctors to see if he can be taken back into the ICU at an intermediate level because of the risks of infection from being in the general ward.  As you can imagine, the hospital has to juggle care needs in line with available beds and urgency and although Will is out of immediate danger, he would be better off in a ward that would give him a better chance of being infection free.

So, with Rosa’s influence in the medical field (her father was a teaching doctor in the Naval Hospital and many of Peru’s doctors learned from his text books) she will use whatever means available to return him to the ICU.

Denise is also visiting care home facilities with doctors and nurses who are used to this kind of situation and working out the monthly costs. Although this would be more expensive, it would mean that if there were no beds for Will in the ICU we have the possibility of taking him to a facility that could be less ‘public’ and would have round the clock care.  Nothing has been decided yet and other alternatives are being sought, including his repatriation to England by whatever means possible.

I am attempting to get back there next Tuesday for a week to co-ordinate and make decisions and hope to have free airline tickets from Avianca and a hotel voucher from the Swissôtel.  Normally there is a 3 week booking period for these, so unless I can get that waived I will have to use some of the funds to fly down on American Airlines again and use the same cheap hotel. I will need to make this decision by tomorrow morning to get the cheaper rates so will be negotiating with Avianca today.

If anyone in Willieworld can offer a free hotel in Lima or book me a flight on American Airlines using points, it would help immensely in use of funds.  Contact me through the Contact page if you can.

May 1st, 6:00am PST

#WillWelch – Will has been taken out of the previous ward (a lower level of the main ICU) and onto a general ward.

Denise went in to see him and as she walked in she said “Hello Will” and he opened both eyes for a moment and looked at her but closed them again shortly afterwards and didn’t respond for the rest of the visiting session.  Remember that Will has never met Denise so has no idea who she is and may not be fully conscious anyway to recognise someone he does know.

Although this shows signs of progress, he is not in the type of ward where he gets direct and constant supervision so there is a possibility we may need to get him out of there and into a better facility as he is still prone to infections from the tracheotomy.  I will be speaking more with Denise and Rosa to co-ordinate what to do next.

Please keep spreading the word for donations and if you can, record a voice memo and send it via email to savewill@savewillwelch.com so that he can hear familiar voices now that we can play them to him with an iPhone (they are allowed in this ward whereas they were banned in the ICU).  The more he hears his friends voices the more he will be able to reorientate himself to his current state.