Alec Muffett Update: Saturday 15th July

This was posted as a comment over at Alec’s last (to date) blog post by Joep Vesseur at Sun Microsystems:

I went over to see Alec just before he would travel back to the UK (so I thought). Your wishes and photograph went with me and made a deep impression on Alec. He is seriously moved by all your attention and best wishes for which he thanks you all.

His condition is progressing; nothing has come out of the drain in his chest for a number of days (so the internal bleedings have stopped). In fact the French staff has been willing to remove the drain (which causes Alec quite some discomfort[a]) but they leave it there because the insurance company wants him “drained” for the flight home (which it seems, in contrast to earlier statements, might not be happening anytime soon, see below).

As was mentioned before, Alec and anesthetics don’t mix: he told me that waking up after the knee-operation, the most logical explanation his brain could come up with for his current condition was that someone had registered a domain-name for his knee (can you say “nerd” The only problem he saw, while still in delirium of the anesthetics, was that he didn’t want his knee to have a free “fr” domain…

All fun aside, the current obstacle is that the insurance company is making life terrible by simply not moving Alec to the UK even though the French staff is happy to let him go and the Birmingham hospital is ready to receive him; I send out this message internally maybe someone reading this blog can advise as well:


I drove down to France today to visit Alec (writeup on that later) and spent quite some time with Alec and his sisters to convince the insurance company that it is in Alec’s best interest to get him to the UK as soon as possible.

As it turns out, the insurance company (Carole Nash) (or more likely, the intermediary Intergroup Assistance) is continuously coming up with different requirements[1] in order for him to get repatriated and the way it looks now it might not be before Tuesday or Thursday before they can set “the wheels into motion” even though the French medical staff has been OK with moving him for a number of days already.

I’m forwarding a distress call from Alec’s sisters: is there any way Sun (or anyone working for us as an individual) can help in putting some pressure on the folks that need to bring Alec home? I am convinced that keeping him in France any longer than strictly necessary (today actually) will seriously hinder his revalidation and causes him a lot of grief (even though the French hospital staff is excellent, that’s not the problem). Not at all good for Alec, and not at all good for Sun.

So if you have any clue as to which strings we need to pull, or which pressure we can apply (maybe you’ve dealt with something like this and have a good tip), please let me “joep at sun dot com” or “bart blanquart at sun dot com” know.



[1] even though they were OK—after a lot of talking—with trying to get him on a flight back home tomorrow, at 7pm they suddenly came up with the requirement that they needed a copy of the police report before they could start the process… The police report won’t be available before Thursday.

I have one or two pictures of his X-rays which I’ll try to get up here as well: broken ribs and screws in his knee..

[a] Alec to surgeon: “I need to have this drain taken out: my body objects to having extra holes in it” (seriously, it causes the swelling not to go away and keeps him from sleeping)