Saturday, October 29, 2005

Loss of a Beautiful Girl

My friend Jose is in Peru at present, at the side of his mother, who is dying with cancer. His was an emergency flight, as her condition worsened after being moved from Lima to Puerto Maldonado in the jungle, so that she could die at home with her children surrounding her. He had planned to fly there but about three weeks later than when he actually went.

Barbara speaks with Jose a couple of times a week, to check on things. Last night she called to inform me that there has been a tragedy in Jose’s family, and as the story began to unfold, I could not believe what had happened.

Jose’s brother, Mario, had two daughters, his pride and joy. Carol, the 26 year old, has just died of complications from thyroid disease. Apparently she had been in the hospital for a month, then was sent home, but just kept getting worse, so her father took her back to the hospital. This involves leaving the jungle town, and traveling to a city. Cuzco is the nearest place, I guess, at 12,000 feet elevation. Carol had a heart attack as a result of the thyroid disease. I would think that the elevation would be a problem, after she had been living at 250 feet on the Amazon. I do not remember all of the details as to where her father took her the second time she was in the hospital, but I think it was back to Cuzco.

This is all so hard for me to comprehend. My family is riddled with people suffering from thyroid disease and its effects, and even though I actually have a niece who has had thyroid cancer, so far no one has died with this. I guess that is the difference between living in the US and living in Peru. But, Barbara has said that they are supposed to have good doctors down there.

Carol had received her Master’s Degree a year ago, and was a very accomplished young woman, just starting out on a great life. Her family is completely devastated. The University where she studied has provided her with a beautiful casket and is helping with expenses. I feel so bad for the family. I have been in touch with them somewhat in the past, through emails, helping with financial details and other things, as Barbara has no computer. One of the sons-in-law down there has a computer business and sends emails for the others. The latest thing that I was involved in was getting a reduction in Jose’s airfare to go see his mother. The family sent me cancer diagnosis reports, complete with photos of the tumor.

When Jose returns, I’ll have to give him an extra big hug. He did inform Barbara, however, that he was planning on returning to the jungle to live. He can’t handle the heat anymore, so I don’t know how he would make out.


  • At 6:12 AM, October 31, 2005, Anonymous Dot said…

    As i am one of your sisters with that dreaded thyroid disease this story is really scary as well as heartbreaking.


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