ICU in a foreign country Spain: Hi, We are a... - ICUsteps


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ICU in a foreign country Spain



We are a British family who were on holiday in Majorca, Spain when our mum collapsed with a stroke. We later found out she already had early pneumonia before the stroke happened. After 3 hospital transfers on the island she is now in ICU dealing with a major stroke and critical pneumonia. She is currently on a ventilator but isn't sedated. She often wakes distressed and cries and to watch your mum go through such torture is literally heart breaking. I have so many questions but the language barrier leaves us a family so confused about what is going on and what she can actually feel/see/hear. Our main priority now is to get her home. The travel insurance company are dragging their feet and say it could be months so we're looking into private air ambulance and how we could raise the funds for that. I am just looking for any support or advice. I don't want to fail Mum. I want to get her home and above all make sure she is not in ANY pain or suffering.

7 Replies

I think I kinda understand what you're going through right now. My mom's in the ICU as well. Did the doctors tell you what could be the cause of the stroke? I think it might be better if some family member stays around your mom at all times and talks to her when she's not resting to reassure her and tell her that everything will be alright so that she feels safe. Aren't there English speakers over there that can explain to you what the doctors have to say about her condition? Can you hire a translator? Maybe you can look up the internet for some translators or use google translate or some other translating website to make them understand what you're saying and have them type in google translate so that you understand what they're saying? Ofcourse the translations might not be completely accurate but maybe it can give you some idea about her condition and maybe someway you guys wil be able to converse?

I searched on google and found an app. I don't really know if it works. Hope it does.

Spanish to English and English to Spanish translations app

Some forums which seem to take translation requests

I really hope that your mum gets better.

Sjburls in reply to Dagmara

Thank you so much. This is more than helpful. You have been so kind with this advice and I more than appreciate it.

This is happening to one of my family members after coming back from Bulgaria she has experienced this too! She’s in hospital but I’m so worried and looking round as concerned, in my thoughts and prayers I hope you are safe

It's an awful position. My thoughts and prayers are with your family also.

Hi firstly I have to say don't panic and feel that you are failing your Mum! Believe me she is in the best possible hands! Spain is second to none at working to save lives! There are no cost implications here just dedication to saving life! Ask for a consultation with the person responsible for Mums care all IcU consultants or the majority speak English! The distress Mum is experiencing is due to the drugs that unfortunately have this side effect! My partner was in this position for 2 months in ICU in Spain believe me when I say she is in the best possible place! He remembers nothing of the actual 2 months but does remember awful dreams! She will be given every possible chance to fight all this! Good luck xx

Sjburls in reply to Drewlyn

Thank you so much. This is so comforting to me.

Have you asked the hospital to get a translator? Or asked your holiday company? Many of the holiday reps will be bilingual and could help.

Can I also reassure you that people have very little memory of their stay in ICU, even when they aren't sedated. And although sedation sounds lovely, and peaceful it doesn't come without its problems. I guess " nothing in life is for free" springs to mind. In the UK less and less sedation is being given, and many foreign countries haven't used it routinely for many years. Good luck, I hope you get somewhere with the translation issue, we've used Google translate in the past with some success, but we can usually find someone in the hospital who can speak the language needed, it doesn't need to be part if the ICU team, we regularly used a domestic as a translator.

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