Our Emergency Trip to Mexico
March 23, 2011, 01:18 PM
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My family and I have returned from a quick, unexpected trip to Mexico. We were awakened one morning by a call informing my wife that her father, in Mexico, had suffered a heart attack, had been hospitalized and was in bad shape.

So we got things ready and were on the road in a few hours. On the way, my wife kept up with the situation by cell phone.

We arrived to our destination safely and went straight to the hospital. My father-in-law had not technically had a heart attack, but his heart had stopped beating and he had almost died. He´d been taken to the hospital by a private ambulance service to which he subscribes. The quick reaction taken by the ambulance service and the hospital saved his life.

The hospital was a Mexican government hospital of the Seguro Social system. It is the biggest medical system in the country, and includes all private sector employees in the formal economy. That program is funded by the federal government, private employers and private employees, whose paychecks are deducted to contribute to the system.

My father-in-law was in the emergency room for three  and a half days, after which he was released to go home.

While he was in the emergency room, my wife was able to visit several times, and I visited him once (the kids were too young to be allowed in). The emergency room was overcrowded, as during an earlier visit several years previous, when one of my wife's relatives was being treated there.

However, despite the fact that the emergency room was overcrowded, my father-in-law was not neglected. His life was saved and he was well attended for 3 and a half days. After regaining consciousness, he felt fine, but was kept there so his situation could be analyzed and treatment prescribed.

A few days after he was released, my wife and the boys and I returned home to the U.S.A.