Plea issued by family of Belfast man fighting for his life in Guatemala

Peter McGarry with his partner Elvira Mendez in Guatemala.
Peter McGarry with his partner Elvira Mendez in Guatemala.

A Belfast man living in Guatemala is fighting for his life after suffering a rare form of stroke.

The family of Peter McGarry, 38, originally from Dunmurry, have appeal for urgent help to fund a critical operation.

Mr McGarry suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage at his home in the north east of the country last Friday. He was admitted to the National Hospital of Antigua but the facility is not equipped to deal with his injuries.

Mr McGarry’s parents, Sean and Helen, and two sisters, Louise May and Joanne McGoran, have since set up a Just Giving page in a bid to raise the £50,000 needed to move him to a larger hospital in Guatemala City. There, it is hoped he’ll receive life-saving surgery to treat a brain aneurysm until he is stable enough to be flown back home to Belfast for further treatment.

His sister, Louise May, 35, said: “Peter is in excruciating pain and, at times, has had to be sedated and restrained. An MRI confirmed that he has a brain aneurysm and needs surgery imminently.

“He is in a public hospital with limited resources. Every time he needs a test or a scan, he has to be moved to a different hospital in another city.

“This puts him at risk of the aneurysm rupturing, which could be fatal.”

Mr McGarry’s partner, Elvira Mendez, has restricted access to the ward and has to make daily trips to the pharmacy to buy medication for the doctors to administer.

Lori Shea, founder of Guatemala Medical Travel, described the conditions in the hospital as ‘totally barbaric” and urged the family to move Mr McGarry to another facility as soon as possible.

Since launching their appeal, over £5,000 has been raised of the £50,000 needed to get Mr McGarry the treatment he needs.

“Peter is a fighter, but he can’t do this on his own. He needs your help,” said his sister.

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