A mainstay of the Cuenca expat community since he moved here from the US Pacific Northwest in 2016, Robert Bradley has suffered a series of devastating medical crises since late last year.
In October, he suffered a fall breaking four ribs and his clavicle, requiring surgery for the broken collar bone, which had left his arm unmoored. Unfortunately, this surgery broke the sterile field resulting in a body-wide infection that, in turn, severely infected his artificial knee and required emergency hospitalization in February for a replacement which he received after a month in the hospital. Upon release in March, he was told he needed a third operation within a matter of months for a permanent prosthetic and was sent home. During his physical rehabilitation, however, it was discovered that the temporary knee had been poorly installed, resulting in a new infection. Two well-respected orthopedists, after reviewing Robert’s bloodwork and X-rays, diagnosed that amputation of his leg would be required if a new knee was not installed within weeks. It is also clear to both doctors that the collar bone surgery needed to be redone. None of these issues take into account the long-scheduled back surgery he underwent in January.
All in all, he has spent nearly six months in hospital; endured two surgeries resulting in systemic infections. His options are now few. He faces amputation of his leg before Autumn, or immediate surgery to make him whole once again.
The continuing traumas have left Robert in excruciating pain, unable to walk, and on large doses of antibiotics and painkillers. They have also left him almost destitute.
We need Robert back at work in our community. Ironically, he is exactly the kind of person who would be actively assisting and providing innovative resources for the less fortunate in this critical period.
Robert has devoted his life to helping others help themselves.
In 2018, he founded Ecuador Expat Assist, a project to provide support for expats who live alone and are in need of assistance and companionship. He is well-known to readers of CuencaHighLife for his weekly column – “love letters to Cuenca.” In them, Robert always found the rainbow after an April thunderstorm and the sunshine in a child’s face during the dreary days of August. In addition, he is a well-regarded photographer focused on the everyday tenderness of the people of Cuenca. It is in character that the reason he fell in the first place was that he caught a woman who was herself falling when the ground gave way beneath her, saving her and beginning his odyssey.
Friends of Robert Bradley are sponsoring a GoFundMe campaign to get this dear man and valued member of our community back on his feet. Our goal is $16,000 to support the surgeries needed for his knee prosthetic and his shoulder. Together with Robert, we have consulted several recommended orthopedists and have chosen the one we all agree is best for him. The cost, which is based on careful — and readily available — itemization and oversight, will pay for the surgeries, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
We can’t allow Robert, who has donated so much of his time in service to our community, to be neglected. His doctor recommends surgery by June 5th.
Any questions just email me. Thanks very much.
Susan Burke March: firstname.lastname@example.org 099 712 9013. Call after: 8 AM.