Monday, November 8, 2010

Easing Into New Orleans

Alberto & Valorie in the hospital in Canada

Alberto and I are home in New Orleans. Back in the USA.

We got here last night, after a very long day of travel from Calgary, Canada, with a medical escort (Flying Nurses International).

It cost $10,000, and the money was raised by all of you bloggers, our tango students, mutual tango friends and dancers, and tango promoters all over the world.

We went directly from the airport by ambulance to Ochsner Baptist Hospital on Napoleon Avenue.

We decided to not tell too many people about the trip home. The pressure of communicating during this dangerous trip home was too much for us. Alberto asked that he be sequestered.
A handful of people were told, family members, and friends in New Orleans who helped expedite things for us. We wanted to ease in gently under the radar, and get Alberto safely tucked in.

Alberto is in good condition considering all that has happened. He memory is 99% back; he can talk, read, write, walk, eat and feed himself. He can dance a few steps. He seems so normal. But his artery disease is a ticking time bomb, and right now, right this very minute, he is back on the operating table for another angioplasty "surgery". So now more waiting and praying, because the blockage is in a tricky place, and the risks are high.

We are so happy to be back home and we hope to be out of the hospital and back in our house with Cholo very very soon.

Waiting and praying is something I have become expert at. Please join me.

I will be writing another post about this whole experience later - falling ill in a foreign country has been an experience I will never forget, and I have alot to say about it. It's been our "come to Jesus" moment and has changed our family's life forever.

Please keep donations coming. There is no socialized medicine in Canada for visitors, eh? And though Alberto has Medicare, it did not cross the border. The country of Canada is sending moi a whopping bill, and we racked up huge expenses just with day to to day things while caring for Alberto in Canada. Please give to:

For all of you who have contributed, I will get to proper thank you notes sometime in the future.
In the meantime, let this suffice as a preliminary thank you note from the bottom of my heart, and from Alberto's healing heart.

Thank you from Alberto and Valorie
photo in the hospital in Canada taken by Alberto's daughter Gina

Alberto Paz is out of surgery in NEW ORLEANS! His doctor, Dr. Bhansali is brilliant! He did the stent in record time, and saved Alberto from having the dangerous open heart surgery the Canadian doctors were holding us hostage for. Thank you everyone for your donations and prayers to get us home! We hope to leave the hospital tomorrow or Wednesday! More later...xo xo


The Gimlet Eye said...

Prayers continuing and solicitation of donations ongoing! xoxo

MFAMB said...

so so so happy you are home. i know what that alone can do for the level of stress and how that can so very positively affect your health.
all my love to you both!
give alberto a big squeeze from me.
love you.

Unknown said...

So grateful for your update, Valorie. Abrazos to you both.

Anonymous said...

Oh Praise God, Valorie, y'all are back home! Prayers are going up for you and your hubby! Can't imagine the terror of what you've been through. Thank you for letting us hear from you. Laura at Decor to Adore is hosting an auction for y'all. It's been a wonderful thing.
Loves and hugs and prayers,
Shelia ;)

Irene said...

Welcome home. Prayers are with you both.

Sabina said...

Thinking of you both and praying for you both. This is good news, kisses to you both and Cholo too.

Anonymous said...

I am SO happy to hear that you are home! The prayers continue...

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

So glad to hear you are home and he is on the road to recovery!

Keeping you in my prayers.


Decor To Adore said...

Although it is different for everyone, I am smiling and shouting "Praise Jesus!"

I will continue to pray and the auction has been so well received that it has been extended for another week.

AppleTree said...

welcome home and praying for you

red ticking said...

dearest valorie...
i am soooo happy you and alberto are home safely and loads of prayers are coming your way... God is so good... truly this is His amazing work... and will pray for surgery to go well.


Tanya said...

I'm so happy for you even though he's not out of the woods! Bloggers are some of the nicest people for the most part. Please, please google mcdougal and dean ornish when the surgery is behind you. It so works!

Best of wishes,

Susan L said...

All prayers and good thoughts for you from Kansas City. I second the comment about looking up Dean Ornish when you are ready. He has the best recipes for food for your heart and for living. Abrazos, Susan

Kathleen said...

i am not a blogger, more of a blog lurker (blurker?)and yours is one of my faves...i've sent you a donation via paypal today and also sending you and alberto all the positive vibes and good thoughts as the two of you work thru this life crisis....soooo glad you are both back home in NOLA so she can wrap her loving arms around you and get him back in his dancing shoes...i'll keep you in my thoughts every day until he's healed...and will continue to be one of your fans..all the best during these trying times, kat in NOLA xo

Renae Moore said...

Oh Valorie,
I have tears in my eyes, the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. You both have been continually in my prayers and thoughts. Hugs to Alberto and you too....try to get some rest sweet friend.
love you....

pve design said...

Allelulia!! Shine those dancing shoes! I have the bottle of bubbly waiting! We all need to celebrate to you and Alberto -
Sending heartfelt wishes to you both!!

Anita Diaz said...

I'm so sorry to hear what happened but happy to hear that you are both back, and he is doing better! I cannot imagine what you are going through, but our prayers are with you:-)

Squeak said...

Oh, I'm so glad you're home safe and sound and that Alberto is recovering nicely. There's nothing worse than being away from home and being sick. I hope my fellow Canadians weren't too awful to deal with!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I came late to this news, but you both have been in my thoughts, and prayers, since I learned what happened. I'm so glad to know you are back home and that Alberto is out of surgery now. Hang in there, Valorie. You are much loved.

Anonymous said...

Such wonderful news- thinking of you every day and praying for a speedy recovery xo

Anonymous said...

This is such great news. I know you are breathing a lot easier now that you are back in your own home and surroundings. Best wishes going forward. BTW, in doing some research there is a Medicare supplement which all of the insurance companies seem to provide which pays for medical expenses incurred out of the country. It may be worth looking into when your life settles down. Until then, all the best to you both.

Amanda said...

wonderful news! donations sent your way a few moments ago.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for this beautiful news. Love to you both Alberto and Valorie. -Carey

24 Corners said...

I burst into tears of joy after reading this...thank you so much for updating us. My heart goes out to you both and am so happy that you're home...I'm sure Cholo is happy too.

Continued blessings...God has his arms around you both, as does his son.
Much love,

*Chic Provence* said...

Valorie that's wonderful news all around!! Don't even think about sending a separate thank you to me, you have enough on your plate...I'm sure I speak for others too...Alberto being back in NO is thanks enough!

much love


Hill House Ramblings said...

Such good news and so wonderful to see you both smiling in that photo! May Alberto recover quickly from the surgery. More prayers and hugs...


Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Valorie- My own heart is warmed by this news. May Alberto recover quickly from the surgery.


Nita Stacy said...

Oh...what brilliant news! When you hadn't posted...I was worrying that things were going badly. Love seeing the photos and can't wait to hear how he progresses.

Unknown said...

Welcome home and love seeing your smiling faces. Wishing Alberto a
complete recovery.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Heartfelt wishes to you both!! You must be absolutely exhausted. Get lots of rest while the healing thoughts keep pouring your way. So good to hear that you are home and that all is going well!!! ox Barbara

vicki archer said...

Dear Valorie,
I am so very happy that you are both back in New Orleans and that the surgery has been successful....Home is where you should be....Much love and thinking of you...xxv

Unknown said...

Adding my best wishes, hope you both recover from it all soon!
You must be so relieved to be home! I bid on Patricia's drawing to benefit you guys!
Much love! Victoria

Unknown said...

Adding my best wishes, hope you both recover from it all soon!
You must be so relieved to be home! I bid on Patricia's drawing to benefit you guys!
Much love! Victoria

Anonymous said...


We're both so relieved for the baby steps towards recovery! Alberto is such a sweet soul and you two are the most perfect tango there is! We're sendings our prayers and hugs from New York!

Eddie + Jaithan

debra @ 5th and state said...

dearest val

great news for you and your darling alberto!

just take care and try not to stress, your blogger buddies are continuing to work it. more to come your way
loving you

Bonnie said...

Glad you are back at home; prayers for a speedy recovery.

diana said...

Such HAPPY news Valerie... theres no place like home.. theres no place like home. I am smiling for you and alberto. xo

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Sweet Valorie, you both have been through so much. I'm joining in with all in saying I have tears in my eyes reading your news. I must say in the last few years I feel like my prayers don't get answered but I've prayed non-stop for you & Alberto and each moment was well worth it. The miracle has resulted in you two being home & Alberto's procedure today being a success. God is good!!

Wish I were closer to bring you goodies and help ease the load of cooking and cleaning. Just know the prayers will continue and you both are in my heart.

With love,

Anonymous said...

hi, valorie,

while nothing in the world is worth the tsouris you put up with in the last weeks, that photo of alberto in the hospital corridor in his tango fedora with you, is a classic!

now is not the time, but after alberto is completely well again, those bills from canada should go to your congressional delegation and the state department. there has to be a reciprocal arrangement of some sort.
canadians are running around down here all winter long, and surely need medical assistance as alberto and you did. and with the least possible extra stress!

just see that alberto gets well at the best rate, not the fastest, so that he gets maximum benefit from the surgery he had today. because they didn't have to make a big cut and take veins from his legs, alberto will be dancing again soon enough!

love and stuff,



Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE hearing good news... praying that it continues!!!!

Rebecca said...

Hurrah! Being back in NOLA is what the doctor ordered, no? Keeping you in my thoughts, please give Alberto a hug from us.

Sharon Rexroad's Bringing Creativity 2 Life said...


Such great news that you're back home and that Alberto was able to receive a stent, as opposed to a more complicated surgery. I'm sure your inner strength has enabled you to be his rock -- and that you've been able to lean on all of us.

Bill said...

Dear Valorie,

SO glad to hear that you're home! It's wonderful news that the procedure went well. You've both been very much in my thoughts. It's been all I could do not to dial your cell number (but knew it might be an awkward time, thought of roaming charges, etc. etc!).

Thank you for the update. Sending lots of caring thoughts ...


Velvet and Linen said...

As I said before, you and Alberto are in our prayers, but prayers only go so far.
Off to your paypal acct. to help with the rest.

xo xo
Brooke and Steve

cotedetexas said...

He looks good. Always smiling! Praying for your both tonight.

Sketch42 said...

Im so happy Val, Great news!

Kwana said...

Thank God. Will continue to pray for his healing and your strength.

Karen said...

Valorie and Alberto -
I am so happy that you are back in New Orleans. I will have to plan a trip down the river to make sure everything is going well - after all the excitement has worn down and things are back to normal.
Everyone was and is still thinking of you daily and you are always in our prayers.
Love from Baton Rouge,

Unknown said...

What an ordeal for both of you! Loving thoughts and many prayers being sent your way!

xo Elizabeth

Scribbler said...

So glad to hear things are looking positive!


beachbungalow8 said...

valorie, lots of prayers coming your way. I'm so moved at this community we are a part of. We are all so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people that we can lean on in times like this.

All my love and good thoughts


Anonymous said...

Travel insurance?

Anonymous said...

Anon Nov 10 7:56 AM
Are you being an asshole?
FYI Travel insurance is denied to anyone with a pre-existing condition, which Alberto has.

Anonymous said...

Dear Valorie: You are a strong woman, God bless you!...Glad to hear Alberto is doing better and that you are home with him. Such an ordeal. Take care.
Much love to both of you.

Karena said...

Valorie, I have been thinking of you and Alberto so much! I bid on several items and hope that you are both on the road to recovery.
I have been through this, so I truly do understand.

Art by Karena

Hello Lover... said...

I am so glad to hear you are both back home safely - praying for his continued recovery!

La Petite Gallery said...

Glad things are getting back to normal. yvonne

Anonymous said...

I am happy that your Alberto Paz survived his cardiac arrest in Calgary and that the physicians there did their best with the situation. As a Canadian who pays high taxes to support our healthcare system I was angry to read "There is no socialized medicine in Canada for visitors, eh?" You knew the risks when you travelled outside your country after being refused travel insurance. Visitors to your country are routinely refused medical care unless payment is made UPFRONT! We expect visitors to pay for the expensive medical treatments they may require. Medical training, equipment and supplies are expensive, we don't have the huge insurance companies to fund fancy, pretty hospitals, sorry. I can't even finish writing this as I am so angry at your attitude. Best wishes with your recovery and kindly pay your bill. Melissa in Canada