Botched surgery in Thailand: 'you can see it's not in the right place'

Botched surgery in Thailand: 'you can see it's not in the right place'

EUGENE, Ore. – Friends and family are coming to the aid of a Eugene woman whose right leg is still shattered, six months after a horrendous crash in Thailand.

Liberty Jefferson was teaching English to 3rd graders on Phuket Island, Thailand when last March, her life was turned upside-down with a crash. While driving her motorbike though the Thailand streets, she was hit by a speeding pickup that ran a red light.

“I turned and just bash--that was it. I woke up in the ambulance." Jefferson said.

Jefferson says she sat in a hospital room 13 hours before she received any help.  In all she spent 9 days in the government hospital.

"It seems so surreal that it even happened, you know.  It was so traumatic," says Liberty as she showed us her pictures from the hospital
in Thailand.

Jefferson is supposed to be in Vietnam on her next teaching assignment overseas.
Instead, the U.O. grad is hobbling around her Eugene apartment.

"My ankle was shattered so bad they had to put this external fixator in to keep the bones stable," explained Jefferson.

Her leg and ankle were broken in 6 places. After the early surgeries, she had 2 months of bed rest. When Liberty returned to Eugene in June she went to a local medical specialist for a check-up on how her foot was healing.

"They said that they had no good news for me--that actually the bones have not healed properly." Jefferson said.

The doctors in Thailand botched the 2 operations. 

"I mean as you can see the foot is not in the right place. If I don't get this addressed now ...  as I age, I'm just going to have trouble with my joints, walking."

Liberty said as she looked at her disfigured right foot and ankle.

Jefferson said she has no insurance coverage, and has been rejected by the Oregon Health Plan. 
Specialists have said that she needs 3 more surgeries to fix her leg … and to get on with her life. 

Friends and family have decided to help raise money for the surgeries. They've put together a silent auction and concert next Tuesday at the Highlands Brew Pub in Eugene to raise money for the surgery fund. Jefferson said the encouragement keeps her going.

"It's tough but I do have support here.  I'm surviving but the medical bills are just expensive--unbelievable, you know." said Jefferson.


The silent auction starts at 4:00 next Tuesday at the Highlands Pub.
Liberty hopes to raise $5,000 through the fall to pay for her needed surgeries.