First, I want to thank you dear readers for the prayers and well wishes I have received for the past week after that Tragic Accident in Bohol during my Visayas Trails journey. Your comments meant a lot for me during those times that I’m far from family and home.
Second, I wanted to let you know that I can walk properly & bend my knees now and my wounds are already healed. In a day or two, I can get back into running once again.
Third, I continue to covet your prayers for Jess. In saying that I wanted to publish her story on my blog.
STERN WARNING: Photos are sickening and unnerving.
Here’s Jessica’s story:
A Morning I Would Not Soon Forget
“What started out as a typical morning of breakfast, conversations with my couch surfing buddy James and coffee, soon became a morning I would not soon forget. Nothing bad to be spoken of, I just won’t forget it.
James and I parted from the house at an early morning hour, hoping to get a full day of sites, adventure and excitement that was offered in Bohol. We first decided to check out the Chocolate Hills. It was my first time. James had been here the 3 years before so I let him guide the way and take control of the motorbike.
I was quite scared to drive the bike with another person on it; however, I had once ridden with another person many years ago as a passenger and was a bit scared of this too. I felt I could trust James’s ability to drive and kept my spirits positive about being a passenger on a motorbike.
STOP TO GAS UP
Soon after we got on the road, we had to stop for gas. The motorbike had an empty tank when we picked it up so we unfortunately were delayed with getting on the road because of this. Once we were on the road it was grins and smiles all the way to the moon! James and I kept good conversation thru out the trip, mainly focusing on where I was holding onto him and the speed at which we were traveling.
We passed thru 3-4 small towns before James got a tickle in his throat and wanted to stop for some ginger. It was already getting hot outside so I agreed with the pit stop so I could a grab some water. Five minutes of good energy build up and we were gonna again. This time out stop ended our journey.
COMFORT LEVEL ON THE HIGHER SIDE
We filled up the bike one more time nearly halfway to Carmen. I snatched some gum from inside the stations while James filled up. After about 20 minutes, I asked James if I could drive for a few. My comfort level was on the higher side of the scale however I was still a bit nervous. I soon found out that my flight or fight response got the best of me when I slid on some gravel.
James complimented me a time or two on my driving and told me I was even doing better than him. It felt good to hear this and assured me that he was safe with me.
After climbing a hill or two into the woodsy area, I lost and gained speed a few times before finding a steady speed that I was comfortable with. At the last climb, only inches before the road changed from concrete to gravel, I noticed a pothole at the edge of the gravel/concrete line and my front tire was right in front of it. Within seconds, I was squirting blood in all angles, looking at my patella and fainting slowly in and out of a daze although screaming at the top of my lungs.
LOCALS HELPED US
The happenings that took place, could not have happened in a more perfect sequence and relieving fashion. When we crashed, James came over to help me and try to calm me down but all I wanted to do was pass out from the sight of my body’s aching injuries and blood pouring out of my knees and hip. Just as James reached me, a tricycle full of passengers stopped. The passengers got out of the tricycle to make room for me. The driver and James lifted me up on the tricycle and we were soon on our way to the hospital.
INTO THE HOSPITAL
Luckily the hospital was not busy when we arrived. I rushed off of the tricycle, waltzing myself into the emergency room screaming for emergency!! My head was so dizzy and bemused. All I wanted was to lay down. And that’s just what I did. Without registering with the administrator at the front, I went straight for an open bed, I didn’t care what department I was in. I needed a bed.
Within minutes, nurses and doctors devoted themselves to me. James and I got cleaned up and I was able to calm my nerves enough to talk respectfully to the medical staff while dealing with the pain. If I had to count how many times, I had needles injected in me, it would top both hands and a few toes.
The anesthesia kicked in pretty quick once they injected it into my left leg. This was the leg that was hurt the worst. You could see the dermal layer and all the mucous membranes and blood spilling themselves out of my central patella and superior tibial areas of the leg. Ended up with 9 stitches, 5 in the central region and 4 in the lower region. Then Dr Patrick mentioned it was time to move onto the other leg. The worst part was done. The right knee wasn’t nearly as bad at the left, but it still hurt. the nurse was attempting to clean up my hip abrasion when Dr Patrick administered the anesthesia into my right knee and my reflex gave way pushing the needle in deeper into an unexpected area. More blood, more agony, stitches, more time in the ER……
After about 3 hours I was getting hungry, antsy from being on the bed for so long and just wanted to get up, but I couldn’t. The muscles in my leg were pretty much inoperable and not functioning. What if I had to go to the bathroom? Am I supposed to use a bed pan, I thought? I kept telling myself as I stared at my Live Strong bracelet, to “Live Strong” you can do it. So I attempted to walk about 8 feet to the bathroom and with much success I did, now the next question was how to do my duties! I managed to do everything I needed to do to take care of me with the unpricable help of James! Without him, I would more than likely still praying around trying to get help.
BACK TO TAGBILARAN
Thru out the course fo the afternoon, James and I battled to figure out how we were getting back to Tagbilaran. The ambulance was offered to us however, another family needed it and although James and I wanted to go home, we knew the other family needed it more. They had children in worse shape than us. It was nearly past afternoon and James had conversed with one of our male nurses about a possible right back to Tagbilaran. He agreed to take us back for a small price of paying for his gas and buying him and his friend dinner. Roughly 1200 pesos($28.16 USD) we only had to wait another 2+ hours before his shift ended, then we were good to go.
FINISH WHAT I STARTED
My opinion, perspective and scope of the whole day were positive. I was very happy with the care I received, the staff was very nice and they understand me being a foreigner and freaking out of the idea of being hospitalized in a foreign country. James was the blessing of Bohol for me and next time I go to the Philippines, Bohol won’t be the on the top of the list but I’d like to finish the chapter I started there!”
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If you haven’t read my story, you can still check it out- Visayas Trails: A Tragic Accident in Bohol
Thanks again Jessica for sharing your story. I really hope you get well soon. Keep in touch dear!
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This post is a part of the Visayas Trails- a 25-day journey around Western and Central Visayas (October 1-25, 2011). My primary purpose is to learn the dialect, meet locals and rediscover the sites worth visiting for my dream escapade next year.
I visited Iloilo, Antique, Boracay, Bacolod, Cebu, Bohol and Dumaguete spending a total of Php11,096 all-in excluding airfare. Thanks to CouchSurfing and friends who I met along the way, this trip would not be memorable and exciting without you.