Botched hernia surgery sends expat into cardiac arrest

Published:  1 Aug at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Australia
An expat from Australia living in Bali with his wife and two children had to be medivaced home after a simple hernia operation went horribly wrong.

Steven Didmon, 39, was admitted to Kuta’s Siloam Hospital on July 12, expecting to have a straightforward operation for a hernia, but an epidural anaesthetic resulted in his going into cardiac arrest. The surgical team and support staff administered CPR for some two hours before they were able to bring him round, leaving him on life support for over a week.

His kidneys were damaged, necessitating daily haemodialysis. and a lung function failure left him connected to a ventilator. According to his father, Didmon will now need extensive rehabilitation and ongoing dialysis in order to regain his limb movements due to the length of time he was in the ICU following the disaster. At the present time, the hospital are not responding to media requests for more details, although they’re not so reticent as to publicly refuse to release him from the hospital before he’s paid their huge bill.

Like many expats in tropical destinations, Didlon didn’t have private medical insurance and needed to find thousands of dollars for his medical expenses as well as the $47,500 cost of medivacing him back to Australia to continue his rehabilitation. His wife, Lovia, negotiated a 30 per cent discount on the bill, leaving the family to find the cost of getting him home plus the $50,000 due to the hospital.

In desperation, Didlon’s father opened a GoFundMe page with a target of $75,000, of which $31,000 has so far been donated. In an update last Sunday, the hospital has received 80 per cent of the bill, made up by the donations and his father’s life savings, allowing the air ambulance to leave Bali on Sunday morning.

It’s to be hoped Didlon fully recovers, but the sad tale is not a rare occurrence in Asia, where it’s commonplace for potentially fatal mistakes to occur, with those who’ve suffered as a result not being released until a large bill has been paid. Responsibility for anything which went wrong is rarely admitted.
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