Survivor of plane crash in Cuba recovering

The young Cuban Maylén Díaz Almaguer, the only survivor of the plane crash that left more than 100 dead in Havana three months ago, is recovering after remaining in a critical state due to the wounds suffered in the worst accident of the last 30 years on the island.
After the last report on the state of Díaz Almaguer’s health published last July 25 in the official media which have followed in detail her case, the newspaper Juventud Rebelde yesterday devoted an extensive article that reveals details of her evolution by the members of the medical team treating her.
Díaz Almaguer, 19, was treated since the day of the accident – May 18 – by a multidisciplinary team of specialists in Havana’s Calixto García university hospital, classified as the country’s best in polytraumas, from which she was transferred to the Hermanos Ameijeiras to continue her recovery.
Professor in intensive and emergency care Esteban Reyes explained the complexity of the lesions suffered by Díaz Almaguer on the spinal column, neck and thoracic zones, on her extremities, tibia, fibula, pelvis and burns.
The young woman also had wounds located on the gluteus that required frequent dressings and drainages and, due to the effects on the spine, she became paraplegic, specified the doctor.
“The evolution was not lineal in a patient in such a critical state, with constant dangers to her life and the opportunistic diseases that compromise and depress the immune system,” he pointed out.
Moreover, he recalled that during the more than 70 days she was in the Calixto García, Díaz Almaguer underwent surgeries, stabilizations and destabilizations, progress and setbacks in the hemodynamic system.
The doctors coincided that one of the most difficult moments in the process to save her life was the preparation for the amputation of the left leg at the level of the knee due to her immunodepressed state.
Dr. Ifrán Martínez Gálvez, a specialist in angiology and subdirector of the Calixto García, recognizes that he thought the young woman was going to collapse when her left leg was amputated, but “she did not.”
“We had a fierce keenness to save her and no one wanted to fail in their specialty,” Ifrán Martínez Gálvez, from the medical team that treated the patient, said.
For the head of psychology of Havana’s Jesús Ajuria hospital center, “what’s most important now is that Maylén be a happy girl without her leg. She deserves it.”
Another of the critical situations took place two weeks before her transfer to the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital, when the patient reported a respiratory and cardiovascular deterioration due to the lesion at the cervical level.
According to the news item, Díaz Almaguer gradually recovered from that relapse thanks to the multidisciplinary strategy, until they were able to continue with the minimum of antibiotics and the perspective of suspending them.
The doctors and nurses in charge of Díaz Almaguer’s care in the Calixto García confess that they missed her after so many “round-the-clock days with no rest to save” an “exceptional” patient who “stoically” facilitated the complex treatment in the face of the painful dressings of her lesions.
They also highlight that the young woman’s family has been “very collaborative and united, with human values, cooperation and receptivity, beyond their suffering and uncertainties,” especially her grandmother, who had “great sensitivity, strength and confidence that her granddaughter would survive.”
This Saturday it was three months since the crash of the Boeing 737-200, leased by the Cubana Aviación company from the Mexican Global Air company, which was flying the local Havana-Holguín route when it went down a short while after it took off with 113 persons on board due to causes that are still being investigated.
The accident caused the death of 112 persons, of which 101 were Cubans and 11 foreigners: seven Mexicans – including the six crew members and a tourist -, two Argentinians and two Saharawi residents on the island, one of whom also had Spanish nationality.
EFE / OnCuba


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