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.
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.