Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rammed on RAAM

By now most of you probably know about Diego Ballestero's unfortunate experience on the roads of Kansas last week.  Here's an update forwarded from Ruth Holliday who has been a tremendous help to the Spanish team.

Well it is time to keep everyone informed with what is going on with Diego Ballesteros, the Spanish "Race Across America" rider  He was moved to a regular room at WMC yesterday afternoon.  He still does not have any feeling from his waist or so down.  He has a very positive outlook but says it is very hard under the circumstances.  I have not been there when his Dr's are there, but they have told him that they feel the paralysis is due to severe inflamation.  He did have 4 broken vertebrae's but the spinal cord was intact!!  He also has 4 broken ribs and road rash galore, from face to toe! 
His girlfriend, Ana arrived Saturday eve following 24hrs of travel.  Two from his support crew, Mattias and Chavi, remain to help him through the red tape involved with this kind of situation.  What insurance covers and which insurance covers what, has been a real headache. 
Their goal is to find a medical airplane to airlift him back home to Spain.  The cost is prohibitive and whether or not insurance will cover is still in question.  His girlfriend only has 10 vacation days and so she is hopeful all will work out.  Another option is a rehab hospital in Colorado until he can board a regular flight.  A local couple, Carol Boorady and Jan Eddy have opened their house (2 bks from WMC) to these 3 to keep their cost of stay at a minimum.
They are surprised at Kansan's generosity and concern.  So now that he is in a regular room we could actually give him more of a taste.  How about a card shower . . . and a few flowers would be cool too!  But do not procrastinate because if a medical plane becomes available, he will take it!
Wesley Medical Center
Diego Ballesteros, 4-434
550 N Hillside St
Wichita, Ks.  67214
Diego rode as close to Marco Polo's route from Spain to Peking, China 2 years ago in 100 days or so, all by himself, just shy of 13,000 km.  He would stock up on water whenever he could as he had some pretty isolated areas.  He has written a book on his trip which will be released in the fall.  This year alone he had over 7000 miles logged on his bike.  His physical condition was extraordinary and that will be in his favor.
Feel free to share this e-mail.  Thanks for all your e-mails, phone calls and questions.  I have shared them with Ana and Diego. They are still making decisions on what legal route to take.
Ruth Holliday
Bicycle Pedaler
330 N. Rock Rd.
Wichita, KS 67206
(316) 685-4545
Please send your best wishes to Diego and let's not let him leave Kansas with too bad a taste in his mouth.  

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