What was supposed to be a break in the sun for Deanna Fekkes and her husband Paul is an ongoing nightmare that now has them scrambling to come up with a five-figure sum to get Deanna back to Canada.

Deanna's daughter Brianna explained what has happened since her mom's initial trip to the emergency room in the Dominican Republic after an ulcer ruptured and perforated her stomach. By the time she came out of surgery, she had her appendix, spleen, and 12% of her stomach removed during emergency surgery which unfortunately left her with complications that required a second surgery. 

"So, as it stands right now the surgeons in the Dominican are trying to push for a third surgery to essentially clean up what they've done in the second surgery.  My mom is saying she doesn't want the third surgery because they won't fully explain to her what it is that they're trying to do.  So, for right now, the surgeon and the team that they have, I guess with her they are just monitoring her closely."

To bring Deanna home at this time Brianna explained it would require medical evacuation as she is not permitted to fly on a commercial flight, the three quotes they have received so far range from 75 to 85 thousand dollars US (approximately 100-115 thousand dollars CAD).  Brianna noted that insurance would cover $25,000 of the cost but no more.  She reached out to Emergency Global Affairs to inquire about a loan but that does not appear to be a viable option either. 

"They (Emergency Global Affairs) took all of their (her parent's) information from me and then they did get a hold of my dad. When I spoke with him yesterday, he said they were contacted fairly quickly after they had received my e-mail, but Emergency Global Affairs said even if they let my parents slip through the system and give them this loan, that they would only have 30 days to pay it back."

The Fekkes were looking at another option after being contacted by a recovery house, "We had a wonderful woman who is originally from Red Deer but moved to the Dominican to operate this business, reach out to me. She owns a surgical recovery house just two kilometres from the hospital and offered to have my parents stay there until she could fly commercially, but they have to follow the insurance company's recommendation to continue receiving care for my mom in the Dominican. Plus, when she spoke with my mom's surgeon, they decided that my mom needed too much care for a recovery house to handle safely."

Brianna and her family are waiting to see if they can bring her back to Canada for a third surgery as that is her mom's wish after two failed surgeries in the Dominican, sadly that may not be an option.  Medical evacuation is their only option at this time even with a potential third surgery looming. 

The family will be holding an online auction Friday, May 12th to Sunday, May 14th to try to raise some of the funds needed to bring Deanna home.  In addition, there is an active gofundme to assist with additional costs. 


Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to news@strathmorenow.com