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Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:36 pm EDT

Family of mudslide victim appealing for more money

Expat TalesThe children of a man gravely injured in a mudslide in Panama are asking the public for help finding $20,000 to $60,000 to bring their father home to Canada. They say he's in a Panama hospital receiving inadequate and they fear he will die there. Greg Coy was injured in a mudslide on Dec. 7. His wife and members her family died when their home and restaurant collapsed, the Coys say. Kristin and Josh Coy flew to their father's side in Panama in December with the help of the generosity of Canadians who donated thousands of dollars for their flights. When they arrived, they saw the conditions of the hospital he was in and they were shocked. "There was dried blood on the floor," Kristin Coy says. "There were syringes on the bedside table."

She says their father has lost weight. He has a broken pelvis and isn't able to move and inadequate care has left him with bed sore that are untreated and in infection he received for being left in a diaper for hours on end. "We need to get my dad home now," Kristen Coy says. She says she has received a quote from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that puts the price tag on hiring an air ambulance to bring their father to Canada at anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000. "We need people's support, whatever we can get," says Josh Coy.

A blogger in Panama has been raising money for the Coys and says he has given them almost $10,000 – money they say they left in Panama with their father to pay for his treatment. Everything at the government hospital he is in costs money, from the creams to treat his bedsores to the sheets on his hospital bed, the Coys say. The Coys say their father had insurance, but it ran out just before the mudslide.

The Foreign Affairs travel guide for Panama suggests that Canadians keep supplemental insurance, warning that provincial health care won't cover most medical services. A spokesperson said the Coys are receiving consular assistance, but the government will not pay to bring Canadians home from abroad.

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