Help us to Rescue a Friend from a Hospital in the Philippines!
Final Update (February 19, 2016): I am very saddened to update this page because this project did at all not turn out as we had hoped. I will provide a brief description of what happened here, however, so that everyone who prayed for Larry and/or contributed to the GoFundMe campaign I had set up for him, will know what occurred.
First, Larry took a major turn for the worse psychologically in January as depression set in, and his mind began to slip away. I really think that either the infection or medications (perhaps both) had started to effect his physical brain. He began hallucinating from time to time, then started to deteriorate further to the point that he wouldn’t eat. When I talked with his doctor later about all of this, he said he felt like Larry just gave up. Eventually, Larry’s mind became so bad, along with his lack of physical strength, that he just laid in bed calling out his son’s name day and night, “John…John…John…” I heard him doing this myself whenever I tried to Skype with him via his fiance’s help. I would shout out his name and sometimes get a brief reaction from him, but then he went back to saying his son’s name over and over again. It was heartbreaking to see and hear via Skype, I can assure you.
Then Sunday night, February 7th, 2016 (Texas Time), which was Monday about lunchtime in Manila, Philippines, I received a panicked call from Larry’s fiance’, Lyn, who is a Filipino. She was hysterical, and I could not understand anything she was saying. So I said I would call her on Skype and hung up. When I did, she answered still hysterical. So I asked, “What’s going on? Is he dead? Is it something else?” She just turned her mobile phone around so that the camera showed me what was transpiring in the room. I then saw the medical team trying to resuscitate Larry after he had gone into cardiac arrest. I watched them work on him for about 5 minutes as I prayed and messaged other people to pray. They had been working on him about 15-20 minutes already by that point. The call got disconnected. After they had worked on him about 30 minutes, Lyn Skyed me back with the attending physician on the phone. The doctor told me that they had never detected a heartbeat. So all efforts to resuscitate him were stopped at that time.
Needless to say, this whole situation was very emotionally stressful for me at the time. I tried to get in touch with John Gammon, Larry’s son, but it was too late at night. He had already gone to bed and I had to leave voicemails. John didn’t even get my messages until he got to work the next day and noticed I had sent him a text message. Again, needless to say, he was overwhelmed by the news and immediately left work to deal with his grief.
Things got very complicated from that point forward because of the distance and other issues related to working with people in a foreign country and culture. I will not even attempt to recount everything here because there is just too much complexity to the situation, but suffice it to say that dealing with the death of a loved one internationally is NOT easy at all. So I changed the GoFundMe campaign to reflect a “help us bury Larry” sort of theme in order to help continue to raise money to help John deal with the death of his dad and all of the bills, etc., and provided updates on there about what had happened.
Most recently, John called me last night (February 18th) to tell me that they believed they had enough money for the funeral & other expenses for which he was legally responsible, and that attorneys familiar with Filipino law told them that the other expenses were not his responsibility. Unfortunately, before I could get to the GoFundMe campaign to post an update and turn off the donation feature, John logged in using my credentials and accidentally deleted the campaign entirely. He THOUGHT he was just turning off the donations feature, and not completely deleting the campaign itself. Nevertheless, it seems to be irreversible, so there’s nothing I can do about it now but to post this update explaining what happened. I may try to email GoFundMe to see if it can be fixed on their end, but barring them being able to do that, it seems to be permanent. However, I just confirmed with John on the phone that all of the donations received had been sent by GoFundMe to his account. So he has those to help him take care of things. Thankfully, no donations were lost by this mishap.
So the summary of matters is this: Larry passed away, and it appears that the easiest/cheapest resolution for his son is to have him buried in the Philippines and not cremated and flown back to the USA, as Larry had requested. John Gammon has received the GoFundMe funds that were donated (along with funds given directly to him by friends) with much appreciation, and is finalizing all of the financial issues for which he is responsible overseas (mainly with the funeral home). It appears that this situation is coming to closure soon, and for that, we are all very appreciative.
Thank you all for your prayers! If you donated to this campaign, thank you also for doing that. The generosity of so many people REALLY helped out in this situation while Larry was alive, and even with the expenses related to his death. So John Gammon, his mom (Kim, Larry’s ex-wife), Donna and me, and everyone involved (i.e., his long time USA friends and the people in the Philippines, etc.) really appreciate the love and support that you all showed Larry and those of us trying to help him. 🙂
God bless you all.
Always in Jesus,
– Rich Vermillion
A long time friend of ours is in trouble and needs everybody’s help! Donna and I have an old friend of over twenty years, Larry Gammon, who is in critical need of medical treatment to include antibiotics, surgery on his infected foot, a blood transfusion, etc. He is literally stuck in a hospital in the Philippines. This fact is not only because of his desperate need for further healthcare, but also because of the way that the hospitals operate in that country as opposed to what we are used to in most Western nations.
Larry has been living in the Philippines for several years now, using his limited income to support himself and to help the Filipino people in any way that he can. He has a huge heart, but very limited financial resources. Thus, this health emergency required his friends and family to reach out to others for help. That’s why we are asking you to participate in this campaign with us to help a Christian brother in need.
In the Filipino hospitals:
- They do NOT honor Western insurance plans.
- A person needs to pay a deposit just to get admitted INTO the hospital (even if they are dying in their emergency room).
- Once they are in there, they have to keep making payments on the bill to CONTINUE to get medical treatment.
- If they cannot pay the full bill, most medical care STOPS entirely and they are NOT allowed to leave the hospital until the bill is paid in full!
Needless to say, that is one place where you do NOT want to be stuck during a medical emergency!
We have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money that Larry Gammon needs in order to get the medical care that he desperately needs. Once he is recovered enough to travel, this same fund will pay to get him back to the United States where he will be covered by U.S. medical plans that can take over from there. You can read more of the details about his situation, as well as our plans for him, and regular updates regarding his condition, on the GoFundMe website. Either click this link or use the widget near the top of the right column of the page, to go to visit the campaign page.
Please pray for Larry and our campaign. Please spread the message about this campaign with others by email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., so that others can join in to help us. Please also consider making a contribution of ANY size to help us raise the money that he needs right away so that they will continue treatment and we can get him back to the USA.
Thank you for praying for Larry and helping in any way that you can. May God bless you as you help a dear brother in need:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NKJV)
Always in Jesus,