After a celebratory birthday lunch in the city of Antigua, we headed back to our village. Upon leaving the bus, my family heirloom wedding rings caught on something as I took the last step down, and my right-handed ring finger was “de-gloved.” Billy and I discussed our alternatives and decided to phone Lori Shea from Guatemala Medical Travel. She jumped into action, contacted the right doctors, and arranged for a consultation in Guatemala City that afternoon.

My dominant hand was injured, and I could not fill out the paperwork myself, so Lori took all my medical history. She accompanied us into the office, chatted with the doctor, and helped get us a better price for services by keeping me out of the hospital. … That evening after seeing the surgeon and having oxygen therapy, Lori drove us home. Over the next six weeks, I had ten hyperbaric chamber treatments and eleven visits with a plastic surgeon to reconstruct my hand, three of which were on weekends or the national holiday, and two for which we were not charged.

Instead of an amputation, I have a living finger expected to be rehabbed into full working order. On every level of assistance, people were personable and supportive of my condition. I was not a patient number or someone’s car payment and not once was I rushed. Here in Guatemala, treatment was both affordable and accessible. Read the full story on Akaisha’s website.