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Ky. doctors rescue Honduran man

CORBIN — Badly injured in his native country of Honduras, Oscar Enrique Paguada is recovering from a life-threatening infection after help from some doctors in southeastern Kentucky.

Paguada, 19, was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle in his hometown of Catacamas more than eight months ago.

Blood did not circulate properly in his broken left leg, which had to be amputated below his knee when he finally received medical care several hours after the accident.

Although released after two months in the hospital, his problems continued as he had 14 different — and unsuccessful — surgeries in Honduras to stop an infection, he said.

He was back in the hospital in early December, unable to even move his leg because of the pain, when he met Chad and Elaine Eustis, missionary doctors from southeastern Kentucky.

Chad Eustis said he performed 41 operations in three days. When he met Paguada, he knew the injury needed treatment with equipment not available in Honduras.

Chad Eustis sent an e-mail on Dec. 6 from Honduras to Oak Tree Hospital CEO Alan Coppock, asking whether the hospital would donate treatment.

Coppock got on the phone the next day with John Henson, CEO of Baptist Care Regional, and told him of Paguada's critical situation.

"John said sure," Coppock said. "It didn't even take two or three days to decide."

All the doctors involved donated their services for Paguada.

Paguada's medical visa was granted on Dec. 30 and he arrived in Corbin on Jan. 5.

"He was very badly infected, his left femur had a significant amount of infection that, if it had gone on much longer, would have been life-threatening," Coppock said.

Paguada has had multiple surgeries in the United States under the care of orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Belhasen, including an above-the-knee amputation on his left leg.

Doctors are working to get a prosthetic leg donated and aren't sure how much longer Paguada will need to stay in the United States.

Paguada appreciates the care he's received, telling his story to the Corbin Times-Tribune through a translator in Corbin.

"They are people who are interested in helping others who need it," Paguada said. "Thanks to God that they were able to bring me here. I'm very happy to be able to be here with them."