The flight time would be two hours and ten minutes. Once at the city's airport, we were notified that the mountain was covered with clouds, so we had to wait a couple of hours in order to leave. Later we made two unsuccessful attempts, so we had to resign ourselves to wait until the next day to try again.
I did not like the weather at dawn on Sunday. There was a light drizzle and the mist covered the mountain range. I thought we were not going to leave that morning either. When I greeted Timo I noticed something strange. His face seemed rigid and he had difficulty speaking because he felt heaviness in his tongue. An hour later we brought him to the Clinic of the Cooperative University.
Timo walked into the hospital, trying to look erect. The medical care of the professionals in charge was immediate and the diagnosis was quick: Transient Cerebral Attack. A thrombus must have dislodged from an artery and affected the circulation of blood in the brain. His vital signs were normal. He had difficulty lifting his left arm.
We had the full collaboration of the members of UNIPEP, Police Unit for the Building of Peace. The bodyguards are very efficient in everything related to the movements and security of the people they are in charge of. They communicated with their superiors and shortly after, we received the expressions of solidarity from the high government.
All types of tests were carried out, beginning with the blood tests, the CAT scan, the electrocardiogram and others. The surprise of the clinic staff was evident when they recognized who their patient was, but at the same time their willingness to give their best to contribute to his care and recovery was clear. These are gestures that we will never forget.
Some magazine reported that Timo had remained in the hands of the Democratic Center, the political party of the former president Alvaro Uribe, who has been an opponent to the Peace Agreement and its developmnet, because the neurologist, Dr. Gutiérrez, was a member of that party. I don't know if this is true, but surely I can confirm his excellent professionalism and humanity. Like the one shown by the rest of the team that received and cared for the patient.
In a decent and tolerant country there should not be such comments. But we are in Colombia, where there are many press sectors working to poison the environment. El Tiempo, a Colombian news outlet, falsely claimed the death of Timo. Others invented that visits to other patients of the Intensive Care Unit had been banned and that relatives were protesting. It was even said that the rest of patients admitted to the clinic had been abandoned, to devote all the hospital care to Timochenko.
Those of us, who were present, witnessed the normal running of the hospital's activities. At visiting time the only adopted measure was to close the door of Timo's room. In the rooms beside and in the rest of the hospital, patients' relatives visited them without problems. Outside the hospital, reporters from this and that media outlet were flocking, but the hospital's management -I believe within their full right- did not authorize their access.
Instead, a press conference was held at four o'clock in the afternoon. And there they could learn all that interested them. I understand that through their networks, sectors of the extreme right promoted prayer chains asking God for the death of the patient. And that some of the far right spokespersons did not miss the opportunity to display their usual nonsense.
Any health professional knows that transient cerebral ischemia is often a natural warning to the body, in the sense that a number of precautionary measures should be taken in order to avoid being a victim of a stroke. Its post treatment -if not serious as in the case of Timo- require rest and some therapies.
These therapies could have been done in Colombia, where the scientific medical capacity has a high level. But where there is the risk of disturbing the tranquility of the patient.
The uproar of the hostile press and the far right that are enemies of peace, as seen, is capable of provoking a riot, a serious provocation or perhaps a series of defamations.
That is the reason why Timo has made a temporary trip to Havana. There is nothing more to it than that.
Soon, we will see him again back in Colombia, building peace together with all.