2020 / 21, The Years of CORONA
. Since 5 years as pensioner in Accra, Ghana. A minimal rent due to
a live as a self-employed person overseas and the refurbished family bungalow in Accra, allows us a simple but reasonable live style. It's quite OK if you can adopt and lower your standards! Certainly less stress and less outside interferences !
Live is affordable and "uncomplicated". At my age (78), I can appreciate that. During our yearly, 6 weeks, break we compensate for the lack of choices and culinary shortcomings! It also
allows us to meet family, grand-children & friends in Switzerland. After the cancellation of our flight to Zurich in June, I managed to book a flight via Brüssel and Frankfurt for 19th September 2020 and hope there
will be no further cancellation! There exists also an older health issue which has to be addressed at the beginning of this visit.
Hope hearing from you soon! (use the "Feedback Button" above!)
Our (probable) next visit to Switzerland
01.10. - 05.11.2021
Before I start with this chapter I want to thank all my friends and family members
for the active and passive support given to me and Nancy
(it was very hard for her!), during this trying time. Accommodation became a pressing issue because of my detoriating
state of health. All budget targets came crashing down due to unexpected expenses. The needless and prolonged fight over my Health Insurance Card, resulting in my heart-attack and a vastly prolonged stay in various hospitals.
The No Show
(forfeiting all costs like tickets, Corona tests, etc.) to our planned flight home, due to an emerging fresh medical emergency on the way to the ZRH airport, brought us at our limits.
Therefore help with accommodation was really highly appreciated and in Corona times certainly not a given!
To the Hospital in Baden I give Thumbs DOWN
for to the unacceptable attitude, by no means by the nursing staff and doctors, but
by the top administration of this institute!
After the flight via Brussels and Frankfurt we landed in Zurich where I took possession of the rental car and drove to our Apartment Hotel in Spreitenbach. I noticed than that my strength is leaving me
and I just made it to the room. The next morning I could no more get out of the bed and had a major problem with my bladder. To check on the condition on my prostate was a goal on this trip. It seemed that
I just bypassed the planned visit to the urologist. 144 took care
of the transport albeit at a fee of CHF 1'000-- for the 10 min
. trip to the Hospital in Baden
! My wive was forced to make a CHF 3'000.-- deposit for
admittance. The problem was that I had no chance to go to the city hall to report my return to Switzerland and thus could not finish the application for the Health Insurance (mandatory for Swiss Citizens).
I got an opportunity to leave the Hospital for my registration, by a friendly hospital staff, at the city hall (which has to be visited in person even when dead sick!). After I also finally got the papers from my home town Basel, my son, could complete
the Health Care application and we got the Insurance Card, the object of desire by the hospital authority (it took 4 weeks!). My live as "Selbstzahler" or 2nd class patient
ended. In the meantime I suffered a heart attack as a result of the undo stress (1st in my live!)
This also after I was 2 times sent home and dismissed as healed, together with the inserted Catheter, all the tubes, urine bags and the just survived heart attack. Again re admitted (144) at another the charge of CHF 1'000.--
yet another emergency not recognized and attended to by the Baden Hospital!
Since we where unable to manage the situation in our apartment, I decided to seek a solution with Social Security but got utterly frustrated by bureaucracy and indifference. Oliver brought me than to the
Triemli Hospital where I got examined and after convincing the Doctor that I was "dead-sick", I was transferred to the Waid Spital (free of charge) and finally admitted. That was the first time I felt somehow
secure and taken care of. It took than a long time to fix all the damage. The heart became a prime concern but because of a severe septic the "heart pacer" could not be implanted and surgery of the bladder and
removal of the gall bladder had to be postponed.
I was sent to The REHA Clinic in Seewis (Graubünden)
where I was very well looked after by the friendly staff (Dr. med. Irina Elayashi)
. A very pleasant mountain surrounding did also help.
Thumbs & Toes UP
The (blood-)septic and the bugs in the bladder was taken care of and after 4 weeks I was returned to the Waid Hospital where I got the "PACER" implanted by
Dr. Tobias Höfflinghaus
(Leitender Arzt, Leiter Kardiologie, Stadtspital Waid) a very competent and helpful man!.
After the emergency on the way to the airport I went to the Waid Spital and was transferred to the Triemlispital to check the bladder problem and finally sent home. From there I made efforts to get to Accra and succeeded in the end! Still pending bladder and gall bladder problem to be taken care of in June/July 2021.
After loosing 2 return tickets to Accra due to the medical emergency before our previous departure we carefully times our hopeful final departure from Switzerland. This time we choose KLM due to the unflexible attitude in
refunding us the return flights of the forfeit tickets. Of course we had to make our PCR tests (2 x CHF 200.--) again and where finally ready for the baggage drop. We where almost the first in the que and the KL personnel was not yet
in attendance. After a while Nancy met a Ghanian acquaintance informing us that the we still need a Corona quick test in order to be able to board the plane. No information in any form regarding this new requirement! The man guided us
via a pharmacy to the test location a floor higher and we made our reservation. Nancy rushed with the friendly man back to the Pharmacy for payment. I waited meanwhile exhausted for the return and hoped that we will still make it. Afterall
is was meanwhile 45 min. before closing the desk! We where not the only ones struggling to meet the deadline! We made it and thanks to the booked assistance, we where driven via the security check straight to the plane to Amsterdam.
Due to the delay at the check in over the required additional test, the arrival was delayed and we had to rush to the connecting flight to Accra. Thanks to the assistance we where rushed through the huge airport and through all the
controls in record time and brought straight into the waiting airplane. We sat down and the plane pushed back and we where on our way!
Accra was surprisingly well organized and with help of our assistance we sailed through the Corona Quick Test, Immigration and Customs in a breeze and where met by Ashetey, Linda and Patric. At home we found all OK and
Fati welcomed us probably with mixed feelings!
Blood in the urine and a lot of pain forced me see visit Hospitals again. After the failure of Korle Boo a got admitted at the Nyaho Medical Center. The facility is fair. A 3-person airconditioned bedroom with a very basic toilet was all you
get. The staff, doctors & nurses were friendly and tried its best to keep me happy. Nancy, Ashetey and Linda brought me my meals (Cornflakes, Milk and Chinese Take-Away). Otherwise I had to be content my Kindle or a small tak with my
After 10 days the bleeding and the pain was under control and I was sent home! Still no idea was caused my condition or a final cure. But still more than what 3 Swiss Hospitals achieved in 8 weeks! This at a reasonable
Back home, in "Palas Town", fighting to find a way back to normality and reasonable health, I first tried to get my finances straight. All these medical expenses depleted our reserves and made a mess out of
my delicate balanced budget. Than I had a pile of materials which we sent to our home to build the solar installation. I hoped that "Junior" our all-round genie will find time to install it with me. He didn't
disappoint and we got all installed and running on April 28.