Patient Stories

Rebecca Gray

  • 27/09/2023
Rebecca Gray

‘My husband begged them to give me surgery. He said he wanted his wife back. I still haven’t got an appointment. I called Healthcare Abroad and i’m finally fixed. Thank you so much.’

Rebecca Gray, (33), was struck by a drunk driver when she was just nine years old. Years later she was rushed into a Dublin hospital for emergency back surgery. But when she had a relapse this year, she couldn’t get the care she needed. Luckily her brother is a taxi driver and had just picked up a fare at Dublin airport – a Healthcare Abroad patient returning home after surgery. He called Rebecca and told her about Healthcare Abroad. Rebecca didn’t waste any time and called Chris at Healthcare Abroad.

This is Rebecca’s story:

“My back problems all probably relate back to when I was 9. I was knocked down by a drunk-driver and was seriously injured. Throughout the following years I just got on with life. “Last year I was out for a run. I had been training for a marathon and had been sitting down. When I tried to get up again, I had this excruciating pain in my back. I couldn’t move. “I ended up in the Emergency Department of a Dublin hospital twice that week in August last year. On both occasions I was given painkillers and sent home again. I was in extreme pain. I’ve had two children and it was 100 percent worse than the worst labour pains. “That weekend my mum called an ambulance. It was the weekend and I was in extreme pain. I don’t know what that paramedic said that night but I was rushed in and given an MRI straight away.

Normally your head has to be hanging off to get an MRI! A surgeon was brought in and I underwent emergency back surgery that Sunday. “I was so grateful. This was 11 days before our wedding. Around Christmas last year I started getting pains in my back again. My leg was numb after the surgery the previous summer and I had never gotten the feeling back. “By March both my legs had gone completely numb and the pain was escalating again. I was masking the pain with painkillers. I was happy for a while. Three months ago, I ended up in an ambulance again but this time I wasn’t getting surgery. I begged them for an MRI. “I was told I would be put on an emergency list for surgery and an emergency list for an injection. I am still waiting as I speak here now in Benidorm in early October. I did go and get an injection privately. It cost me €2,000 cash and it relieved the pain for just six days.

“I was in the ED again four weeks ago. My husband begged the hospital for help. He said he was worried about my mental health, that I was off sick already from a new job and I couldn’t be a mam to the kids. He told them ‘I want my wife back’. I still heard nothing. “I work as a Care Manager and I fight tooth and nail every day to get services for people who need them; but I couldn’t get anything done for myself. I was desperate for help. By pure chance my brother rang me. He’s a taxi driver and he told me he had collected a woman from the airport who had just come back from Spain after an operation and she had been telling him how amazing this agency called Healthcare Abroad had been. “He gave me the number and I called Chris at Healthcare Abroad. Within 20 minutes he had arranged for MRIs and given me provisional dates to travel to Spain to see a specialist surgeon. The level of care and attention is absolutely incredible.

“I was looked after all the way; with Chris and Scott and Amy all there to guide me and help me and Dr Karim was brilliant, explaining everything throughout. He told me I had the biggest bulging disc he’d seen this year. It was nearly 2cms and needed to be done urgently. “I’ve had my back surgery. The pain which was killing me has gone. The feeling I had lost in my legs has returned and I am looking forward again. I’ve gotten my life back again.

“Thank God for that lady who got into my brother’s taxi. I’d never heard of the EU Cross Border directive; I didn’t know I had a right to this as an Irish citizen. “I would say to anyone who is in pain and needs help to call Chris and his team at Healthcare Abroad. Don’t wait.”