Preparing for Home

Life in the hospital is getting a little bit the same. We feel like we are marking time. 

Then the Physio arrived with a wheelchair. Pete was very happy to do his exercises and then prepare for his first sit in the chair. 

He got in just fine – lucky he’s strong. But he needed his leg out and supported. So he and Steve worked out a plan , put it to the Physio and then he was comfortable – leg out. 

Off he went for his first upright tour of the ward. Everyone clapped. Pete felt confident for tomorrow’s airport trip. Pain wasn’t too bad – the drugs are working as they should. 

So tomorrow another clean and inspection of the foot and wound. Then a sleep for us all. 

Off to the airport by 9 for a midnight flight. 

Steve leaves at 8pm flying through Singapore . Just no seats available on our Thai flight for him. 

Looking forward to returning and Pete is keen to watch the AFL final. 

Just hope they have worked out which hospital we will go to ! 

See you all soon. 

Non op day 

That’s a shortcut for no operation today.

So we try and get good food and drinks into Peter. El buys him wheatgrass shots, pomegranate juice, ice cream in fact anything to get him eating.

He had a big long talk to Dr Hamish Black from his insurance company. And Peter quickly said I hope you are not Hamish  Blake…… I need a Doctor!

Anyway it was up and down from there. No flights direct to Brisbane     So they would explore other options. We need a small miracle.

So waiting all day.

Finally a call from Insurance to say they can get him out on Friday night arriving Brisbane Saturday around 11am. Thai air business class which means he has to sit for take off and landing. Hope he can do it . El along with a doctor and nurse will accompany him. I’ll go back of the bus, if they can find a seat ( it’s end of school holidays. )

Steve will go through Singapore on the ticket we originally booked . All arrive same time.

Peter and Elena are very happy. One hurdle down.

Pete insisted we go out for dinner and he would rest and have his bed bath with the nurses.

So off we went in a taxi to a little place called Mellow. Back up plan was Di Vinci.

Di Vinci looked looked great, mellow didn’t, so we thought we’d bring a little Italy to our lives outside the Bangkok hospital – seeing as I was supposed to be there.

The owner,  Roberto came to greet us and we chatted – well Elena did, in Italian and before long we were friends. Seemed he remembered her from his trip to Phnom Penh and a visit to Che Culo,  the bar restaurant El managed.

As Pete calls her ‘ the most beautiful girl in Cambodia ‘  I think it’s true. Everyone loves and remembers her.

We had a wonderful though short dinner and made it back to the hospital to find Pete looking very excited and pleased with himself. He claimed ( don’t read this if you’re squeamish) he had done his biggest poo ever, and had cleaned himself and the bed and moved around rearranging the sheets!

So perhaps he is ready to fly on Friday night.

Tomorrow it is practice sitting in a wheelchair time! Leg down! Hope we all survive the pain.

So looks very much like we will be back Saturday.

Talk about change.

Can’t wait. Neither can Pete . Not sure which hospital he’ll go to. Perhaps RBH or Mater Public . Don’t mind as long as they are miracle workers . Toes need to come off. They are a nasty shade of black.

So last two nights here.

Elena looking happy to be going.


Peter had another clean out and assessment. We feel we’re marking time.

Another mishap when the IV line with pain relief came out , which we hadn’t realised until Pete’s pain increased. Grrr.

He went off to theatre feeling pain and returned ok,  still sleepy.

Decision today on flights. They are proving hard to get. Looks like to get a direct flight to Brisbane he will need to sit in a normal business seat for take off and landing before turning it into a flat bed.

We’re assessing that today. Hope he can so we can get going in few days.

Poor Pete is keen to get home and start the rest of the big operations.

Hope for further good news.

Another quiet day

This is what we like.

Quiet days.

Pete is of course finding being in bed all day rather awful.

He likes his Physio.

Long chats with doctor. General health better which is good.

Things are stable.Looking to get seats in direct flight to Brisbane. 

Feel a bit like marking time but Pete is feeling stronger and is a better colour.

Cant wait to get home.

Quiet Day

Around the middle of the day  the nurse asked how he was feeling and Pete replied with his usual smile. ‘It’s the best day ever’ the nurse giggled and he corrected himself and said ‘ since I came to hospital’. 

He had a good nights sleep, woke up feeling quite good and continued to doze all day. He needed to catch up on sleep and start to heal. 

The epidural continues to work and allow him rest. 

We bought him a roller massage glove and El gave him a beautiful massage on his legs and back. He loved it. Staying on his back is taking its toll. 

Steve got jealous so I gave him a back massage then gave El a long massage. Her back, shoulders, legs and head. She really relaxed and she really deserved to. 

Then Camilla arrived. She’s a gorgeous Swiss girl living in PP with Randy,  a lovely Australian guy, a journalist, who helped Steve in PP. 

The day passed and then it was 4.30 and they came for Peter for his next operation. This one was to clean and assess the wound. To see about circulation. 

Nurses and El checking machines

Peter left happy and we hoped he would return happy. He did. Not singing. This time jiggling his legs, to get the circulation going, so he said! 

To pass the 3 hours he was gone,  we went to the Marriott Hotel’s 48 th floor open air bar to have a cocktail and watch the sun set. A little R&R was much needed,  but when we’re away from him we miss him. So we mostly chatted about him telling funny stories and wishing he was with us. 

Bangkok sunset

So today a quiet day 

Tomorrow we meet the doctors to hear about today’s cleaning and assessing,  perhaps moving closer to a decision about toes and flying home. 

Thanks for your ongoing messages of support. 

One Step Forward

Today a better day.
Steve arrived and Peter liked seeing someone other than his loving fiancé and loving mother!
He’d had a terrible night last night but today is much better. The epidural is still working and the management of his pain, was explained very well by Dr Nu the pain specialist, who walked in on her Valentino high heels. She’s very chatty but tough. She told him he had to stop pushing the pain button as the epidural was  working.  If he wanted to get home asap then he had to pass the aviation airlift rules and morphine was not allowed on a commercial flight. ??? Tough love.
Now she wants to come to their wedding!!!!! Could be handy having a doctor there.

Anyway his case manager came today and we had a long chat. They will do another op tomorrow to clean out the wound again! and assess the arteries and the extent of the dead tissue and how far down the foot they have to cut. Originally it was the tips but now it’s further. If that is extent of the lose after this terrible injury then we are lucky.

I was shown the photos so they could explain things and I can tell you they are not for the squeamish. Truly terrible. Our doctors are miracle workers.
So the Doctor  said that after tomorrow they will make a decision and perhaps we could get passed for an avaiation medivac airlift approval for Peter to fly within the next week or two.

No promises but that is the loose plan.

The insurance people are making arrangements between the hospital here and where we will go in Brisbane.

He has a low level private insurance but not for this type of thing, so it will have to be the public system which proved wonderful for Rob. So in major things, public is good.

We think Peter needs to be where there is a bigger support group. I think  he’s still suffering PTSD  and who wouldn’t when he remained conscious and saw what happened to his leg . In fact he said he closed his eyes to block it out but he could still see out of one eye  as it had a cut in the lid! He had 6 stitches and it is healing well.  He also broke his eye socket and has a very sore jaw and can’t chew –  not that he is eating much , no matter how much we try to tempt him. El makes him up protein drinks several times a day and he’s having that.

The physio was in today to make him do exercises on his arms, good leg, knee of bad leg etc  Peter liked this  and in Maitland competitive style did more than he needed to!

Thanks for all your loving support.

We Maitlands are tough!!!!!!

Lucky because we are being tested.

Anothe day Another operation 

A short blog tonight. 

Moral of the story. Never let your guard down. 

Sat with Pete this morning in his new 16th floor room. 

Finally they came to get him for the operation and he was in quite a bit of pain. 

So off he went and so did El and I. We returned a jumper and El bought a few new things trying to cope with the cool hospital room. 

Peter came back about an hour after we returned , so 4 hours later, and was singing and trying to dance. Pain reduced by drugs! 

So far it was looking like the epidural was working. 

The doctor arrived and we discussed what had happened in the operation. 

The arteries are pumping / the big one in the back of the foot is working well. It was a severe crush injury and the one supplying the front of the foot isn’t getting enough blood to the first 3 toes. He said he would give them another go till Sunday then a decision would have to be made and he would probably have to take the 3 off. We were originally told just the tips but it looks like the whole toe. 

The bones are still ok and the nerves are still a problem. 

But the epidural block seems to work and he is pain free. 

So El and I left him to sleep and went for a walk.

We got back from having something to eat and drink and I went back to the hotel and El to the room.  Then I heard from her that he had woken and was screaming in pain. 

Not sure why. The nurses are dealing with it and the drugs are flowing. 

Poor Peter. 

So I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring. It’s a marathon. 


One week down 

Tonight it is one week since our lives and particularly Pete’s life changed. 
He’s already sick of the bed as well as being on the roller coaster that accompanies having a severe injury. 

As El and I walk down the road each morning we wonder what we will find. A pain racked Pete or peaceful Pete after the morphine has kicked in.

Pete posted on Facebook yesterday and it was a little hazy as he wasn’t his usual quick witted self. 

This morning was a bad one. He was tired , in pain and begging to go somewhere other than ICU with no window . The Doctors were worried as were El and I, but it resulted in the Doctors deciding he could move to a private room and Elena could stay with him. 

So it’s up on the 16th floor,  a big room with a view. El has a lounge to sleep on and it looks more like a hotel. Better for his morale. 

The medical team here are doing a good job – I think, I hope,  though today Peter insisted on the Doctor calling in as the bandage covering the still open gaping wound was proving to be too tight and was causing even more pain. 

The sweet nurses, in their little purple nurses hats, would take a look and say ‘it look alright’. But he insisted , the Doc came,  did a fiddle with the bandage and drain and out poured all this blood that should have been draining away into a bottle! Poor Pete. He immediately got some relief. 

I guess that better than in PP though where they forgot to hook up the drain at all! We finally commented on why wasn’t there any blood draining ? The doctor went ballistic. 

So you do have to keep an eye on things and I wish I had some medical training. 

People have been trying to offer help. I met someone from NIB health insurance. He called into see if we had any needs. The Australian Embassy phoned Peter to offer assistance and Peter suggested they might arrange his marriage to Elena, who he introduces as his wife as they don’t seem to understand the word fiancé ! When the pain is under control he’s funny. 

His team of doctors include Dr Nu the pain doctor,  an anesthetist. I told her I had a friend who was also an anesthetist at St Vincent’s in Sydney and she asked me to contact her and to see if she had any other suggestions for Peters pain management. 

My friend Liz ( who we met on our first swim trek) immediately conferred with her team and was in touch with Dr Nu. Liz also confirmed that we had a great team looking after Pete. She said they were trained to Australian standard and we were receiving the best care we could over here. Reassuring to say the least. 

So this afternoon Peter had a sleep and I took El to some shops to quickly buy a few clothes so she was warm staying in the cool hospital. She had packed so quickly she had only brought a few things from Kampot and had to borrow from me! But now she has a few things from H&M. 

Tonight Pete wouldn’t eat much despite the warning from the Doc that he needs good food and lots of it to aid healing. El had to boss him! 

Tomorrow Friday, surgery again at 2pm. Last chance to get some blood flowing to the toes and to repair the nerves. His foot is numb and his 3 big toes are almost black. Very worrying though I’m still trying to be hopeful they can be saved. 

So fingers X things go well. It’s so touch and go and I’m almost frozen with fear. 

But he’s alive. 

Steve comes from PP tomorrow and we hope the compensation meeting with the bas*+***d family goes well. We miss him. 

Catherine with Elena’s mum in Genoa

I miss you all and have no real idea when I’ll be back. 

My sister Catherine was meeting Elena’s mum today in Genoa! 

Leaving on a jet plane 


When there is major trauma you look for good news where you can. 

It came today when the Insurance company came through and made arrangements for us to fly to Bangkok. 

Poor Pete was in a lot of vascular pain,  spasms hitting frequently and the nurses not alway quick to up the medication. 

They were getting him ready to fly so no food or drink in case he had to be incubated. 

We got on our way at 6.30. I’m glad we were in any more urgent hurry because no one here moves for an ambulance even with the siren. 

Got to the jet and they loaded him on board. It was cramped with 2 pilots , 2 doctors , a nurse and Elena and I. He was in quite good humour till the pain hit as the pressure mounted. He did complain of being a shelf! All the gear and monitors were loaded around him. 

Then to the hospital on arrival and it turned out to be Bangkok International not the Bumrangrad Hospital we thought we were going to. That is the one that Peter went to before when he was airlifted out of Laos with dengue and Malaria. He doesn’t hold back in life! That upset us initially. 

Anyway we waited for the doctors. It was 11.30 and they took him straight to a cat scan and he was desparate for a drink,  but again no way as he might have to have surgery. 

The vascular doctor arrived at 3.30 am and made the decision to do an emergency compartment surgery to get the circulation flowing. It was mind numbing. 

We went to the hotel nearby at 4 am and El got back to the hospital by 9 when Pete had returned from surgery. News was slightly better. The blood was still circulating and chances of saving his foot increased a little. 

The next two days are vital. 

Today he is resting and has charge of his drip to administer the drug as he needs. His body needs rest. 

The team here seem to be completely onto the case after being in touch everyday with the one doctor in PP. 


I’ve been talking to the insurance company and they are aware we want second opinions when we feel we need it and their medical person  talks daily to the doctors here about Peter. We want to get him back to Australia but that can’t be considered while the circulation is not steady. 

Think of us.