The Arrow Flew True To The Mark

I know that my post on the 29th (Follow Your Arrow) probably left you wondering what was going on. I have continued to try to solve some more problems for the stroke victim. My initial attempt to try to help him access his money had failed. A Power of Attorney (POA) from the victim requesting my assistance, was not acceptable to the bank.

On my trip to the bank earlier this week, I was told about more forms that would need to be filled out and more notary stamps, just to get the stroke victim a bank card. The large part of the problem was because he has lost the use of his right hand and could not sign anything. Having the notary go to the victim’s apartment for the first POA cost $150.

To avoid any more $150 notary fees, It appeared that the only way to make progress was to transport the stroke victim to the bank and have him make the request in person. I wasn’t sure how we could accomplish this, but it appeared to have a higher likelihood of success than anything else.

Yesterday morning the lady that is caring for the stroke victim got him dressed. Lilliam and I met the physical therapist at the apartment. The physical therapist and I got the stroke victim loaded into the car and put the wheelchair into back of the car. We headed to the bank.

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Photo posted with permission of the individual

This photo is the stroke victim in the wheelchair provided by Tom McCormack. I took this photo when we first arrived and were waiting for management to assist us. As I expected, they were not prepared and they still were not certain they could help. However, it is harder to say no, when you have a person in in a wheelchair in the waiting area of a bank.

After a few phone calls to upper management, a nice young English speaking lady came to help. She was able to take the fingerprint and two of us witnessed that it was his fingerprint. The bank card was provided and it is supposed to be active in 48 hours. By the time we finished at the bank, the stroke victim was definitely in pain from sitting for two hours.

We reloaded him into the car and returned to the stroke victim’s apartment. We got him out of the car and back into his bed. He was beat, but happy that he would not have to do this again.

Talk about having a load taken off my mind. It has taken almost a month to accomplish this task.

While I still believe that this individual would receive better healthcare in the U.S., he still has to overcome several hurdles. First he has to be able to travel on commercial transportation, and at present he can’t. Second he has to be able to immediately enter a healthcare facility directly from the plane. This is still being investigated, but at present, he can’t.

While, I said I need to be moving to extract myself from his day to day decisions, I currently can’t do that because he has no one in David that he trusts to assist him paying his bills. This is a problem, he and I need to work on. I am still on 24 hour call and will still be seeing him several times a week. My gasoline bill has increased.

I do hope that my posting this situation has caused a few of my readers to consider their own situations and preparedness in the event of a problem. All of the brochures present Panama as a paradise waiting to welcome you with open arms. They fail to adequately present the reality of difficulties in living in a Latin American country.

I would also like to pass on the stroke victim’s gratitude to all who have supported him with donations. I can say with no reservation, that without the help you provided, he would not be here now.

UPDATE August 1, 2014: The ATM card is active and I was able to obtain money today.

12 thoughts on “The Arrow Flew True To The Mark

  1. I now understand that having a bank card for each account is an absolute “must”.

  2. You have gone above and beyond what most people could or would do Don. You are truly a man of compassion!

  3. Don Ray, Thank you for your caring and compassion for a fellow human being. You have certainly saved his life. You will be rewarded in heaven. Roy

  4. Bless your kind heart, Don Ray. And thank you for counseling all of us how to avoid this situation with a few forms we can fill out and have available, in case anything happens to us similar to this gentleman’s plight!

  5. Don: You were asked to help, and you’ve gone the extra mile to get things in order for the unfortunate gentleman. Hard to believe he had a bank account, but no ATM card. But these things happen. If I ever find myself in this position, I merely give my card and the PIN to the trusted care giver. Very nice of you to stick with it until the problem was resolved.

  6. I, too, would totally trust you, Don Ray. We should all be so fortunate to have you and Lilliam in our lives.

  7. Just had a flashback to ’07. He resembles an employee of Do it Center David who was from Panama and became a citizen of the U.S. then retired to David. I had a pleasant conversation with him back then, but I might be dreaming.

  8. Aaah…mi querido Panamá. Things don’t change. Good job Don Ray! Maybe this person can do this short fly to Miami. The one from David to PTY is only 35 minutes now. Jaime

  9. He does not need to go up the steps of the plane. My husband can’t do that either. The airline has strong men who carried him up the steps and carried him off the plane. They are trained to do that, and they said they do it every day.

  10. But he does need someone to accompany him to the US and ability to go directly into a hospital from the Plane and that is not possible at present.

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