GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A Montcalm County woman is in intensive care at a hospital in Peru after being seriously injured in a crash while on a mission trip.
Martha Medina, who lives in Gowen, suffered injuries to her head, heart and lungs.
Some of her relatives rushed to Peru after learning of the July 26 crash. More than two weeks later, she remained on a ventilator in busy Peruvian hospital, according to friends and family members.
They are trying to get her to a U.S. hospital, but they told 24 Hour News 8 that the costs are too steep.
Nathan Hayne, a 19-year-old college freshman from Greenville, suffered less severe injuries in the crash and got back to Michigan Sunday. On Monday, he told 24 Hour News 8 the memories of the chaotic crash are still fresh.
He said the missionary group he and Medina were with was making an eight-hour trip along the coast of Peru when a tire blew and their car rolled.
Hayne had just taken Medina’s advice to take a nap when the car crashed.
“I woke up to my back smashing and neck smashing the ceiling over and over and over. And when it stopped, Martha- All I heard was “Nathan, help,” Hayne recalled.
“I crawled through the window and Martha was like upside down on her neck,” he continued. “I had to help her.”
Hayne said he ignored pain in his back and neck as he tried to help Medina.
“I’ve known her my whole life,” he said.
Hayne remembers Medina going in and out of consciousness. He had just completed a first aid and CPR class at Montcalm Community College. Those skills came in handy.
“I didn’t want to worry her. She had a gash in her head. It was really bad,” Hayne said.
Arthur Medina, Martha Medina’s son, bought an apartment in Peru after learning of the crash. He’s paying about $200 per week, but doesn’t plan to leave the country until his mother is improved.
“We want to get her out of here so bad,” Arthur Medina told 24 Hour News 8 via Facebook video chat.
The Gowen resident said that his mother’s treatment at Peruvian hospitals has been questionable, especially when they inserted a pacemaker. Medina’s heart stopped twice because they put it in incorrectly, her son claimed.
Finances are also proving to be a big problem.
“Usually, the financial aspect is taken care of after. They (the hospital) send you the bill,” Arthur Medina said. “This morning, they called me and said, ‘We need these items.’ And it’s like they need a breathing tube, syringes, saline, everything. So I have to walk across the street to find a pharmacy that sells this stuff every day. It’s about twice a day I do this and pay out of my pocket.”
Medina’s relatives are also paying for travel and lodging costs.
The Haynes described other obstacles they ran into while in Peru — obstacles that they believe highlight why they would like Medina transferred to the U.S.
“She (Medina) finally got up to the ICU. In the ICU, we have a window of two hours that three people can see her for five minutes and that’s it,” Hayne’s mother Lavonne said.
Medina’s loved ones said that she went on the mission trip as way to cope with the loss of her husband. He died in a work accident in 2016, according to relatives.
The cheapest medical flight Medina’s family has found is around $65,000, according to her son.
Greenville New Testament Church
13615 10 Mile Rd NE
Greenville, MI 48838, USA