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Who am I?

If I knew the answer, life would be much easier. What does my life look like in bullet points and links.
Let’s see:

My Facebook profile: here
Things I do in life: I am a mother, wife, friend, target group coordinator, I write (and sometimes read), I prepare proposals, I talk – a lot – and sometimes I listen.

I started a blog (in Hungarian) on my joy as I prepared to be a volunteer at the Rio Olympics:
… and it became the story of why I couldn’t take the plane and why I still haven’t made it to Rio.

I wrote a series of articles for Transindex on my hospital trials and tribulations, also in Hungarian:

My book “Fájdallam” published in Hungarian by Koinonia sold out and is currently being reprinted. Copies should be available in all good bookshops in the Autumn.

I write a column “Kontakt” in the Transylvanian women’s magazine “Nőileg”:

What is the money for?

An operation. And I shall tell that story in bullet points too.

Christmas 2000: Aged 15, I got a superb prosthesis to replace the bone in my upper left arm which had been removed due to a malignant tumour (osteosarcoma). The operation was performed in Vienna at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus (AKH) by Professor Kotz. My prosthesis was made of titanium to Professor Kotz’s own design: it beeps when I fly.

How did I end up in Vienna?
In 2000, it wasn’t possible to treat my bone cancer in Romania and so I travelled (with my mother) to Budapest for chemotherapy.
In Budapest, they could only propose amputation so my doctor took me across the border for treatment in Vienna. At the time, as a Romanian citizen, I needed a visa to travel to Austria.

In 2016, I was excited to be selected to be a volunteer at the Rio Olympics and started writing a blog (in Hungarian) about the process:

As I was planning to travel to Rio, I started arranging health insurance for my trip. I was aware that with my medical history, this may not be straightforward and so before I took out the insurance, I asked the hospital in Vienna to confirm that all was in order. They didn’t. In place of the reassurance I was expecting, they spoke of emergency surgery. The operation, when it eventually took place was a partial replacement of the prosthesis coupled with a supporting transplant of muscle from my back to my shoulder.

Since that operation in March 2017, the prosthesis has been constantly infected and I have been on antibiotics.

My health insurance has covered the costs of my treatment at the AKH, although it has often exacted its own price in terms of Kafkaesque bureaucracy. Treatment abroad was not my choice: the Romanian doctors who treated my infected arm consistently advised me to go back to the hospital where the original operation had been performed. One contrite doctor admitted that although he had read about such surgery, he had never before seen it in practice, much less performed it. Everywhere I turn in the Romanian healthcare system, I am a curiosity: the radiologists and orthopaedic surgeons thrill at the cutting edge surgery my body is a testament to. I wish I could share their excitement, but the slightest problem in this finely tuned machine means another arduous trip to Vienna. The journey is long and costly, even when AKH is willing to treat me on the basis of my European Health Insurance Card.

During my most recent excursion to the AKH (on 19 July) they advised me in no uncertain terms that they would have to remove my prosthesis and connect my elbow directly to my shoulder (ie partial amputation). I almost died on the spot. At that moment, I literally could not see a way to continue living what I thought was my life. Since then, I somehow recovered sufficiently to ask for other opinions.
Romanian specialists: “no chance” – as one of my orthopaedic surgeons put it, in Romania they would amputate and would not be able to save my arm below the elbow. He added that he was glad that at least I have the chance of surgery in Vienna.
AKH: I should send them a CT scan and accustom myself to the idea of partial amputation.
Wiener Privatklinik is where Professor Kotz, who performed the original operation, now practices. He does not believe that amputation (in whole or in part) is appropriate. He proposes that the prosthesis be sterilised and that surgery be performed on the skin and muscle surrounding the prosthesis to better protect it from external infection. If my body rejects the prosthesis, Professor Kotz would transplant part of my shinbone into my upper arm rather than amputate. I trust him.
Hungary: They marvel at the treatment proposed by Professor Kotz, and can think of no more esteemed expert, but admit that what he proposes is beyond what Hungary can offer. I am profoundly grateful for their candour.

And so Vienna and the Wiener Privatklinik.

The estimated cost of the operation is EUR 28,000.

How can you contribute?

By bank transfer from Romania in RON or EUR to my account with Raiffeisen:

Name: Aczél Erika Dóra
RON: RO06 RZBR 0000 0600 1013 3196
EUR: RO78 RZBR 0000 0600 1254 0216

By bank transfer of Hungarian forints to my brother’s account with Erste Bank:
Name: Aczél Botond
HUF account no: 11600006-00000000-79921439

From outside Hungary and Romania, it may be easier to use TransferWise:

Name: Dóra Aczél
EUR IBAN: DE14 7001 1110 6051 9167 25

GBP account no: 69070367
GBP sort code: 23-14-70

Or contribute by PayPal:

Sum of donations

Euro / 28.000 Euro

  • 6th of August, 2018, 20:09 100%

(141% – the sum contains all the donations converted into Euro)

Ask, so I can answer.


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Aug 1, 2018 |