Last August Kat from Australia, a returning participant from a camp in North Carolina, was in a condominium with friends in Playa del Carmen, Mexico during after-camp travel. Walking out to the balcony, she encountered transparent glass divider and shattered it causing severe injury. Thanks to the quick response of her camp friends and colleagues she survived with both life and limb, but it was close. Too close for comfort.
Having a reasonable grasp of Spanish I was elected for crisis duty, and flew down to Cancun to attend to the matter. It was a very emotional, touch-and-go experience. She was in her third hospital when I arrived 36 hours after the incident, with vascular and cosmetic surgeons driving down 400 miles to perform ten hours of surgery. We flew Kat’s mum Julie to the scene who happened to be on holiday in Budapest. I entertained everyone as best I could with meals and sightseeing, and made everyone whole financially and of course spent some time with the patient. She was a very strong young lady, and a very lucky one for whom the deep personal bonds of summer camp had just saved her life.
After many months of nearly complete recovery, Kat is actually coming back to camp this summer. I just heard from Julie the other day, and she and her husband David will be accompanying their daughter back to camp and then take a week in New York City. She wants to meet my wife Andrea and me and spend some time with us. We settled on the weekend of June 21st, and we’ll take in some sights and have a meal or two together.
How gracious of this Australian couple to reach out like that! I am looking forward to the reunion and the chance to spend a more pleasant day together.