Full Story (Trouble in Paradise)
Were going to start this blog out with a disaster in Cost Rica. This tragic injury was totally preventable, if the tour operator Go South Adventures Tours, Costa Rica was any kind of a professional operations. Unfortunately they were not and are not a safe or reliable tour operator. If you plan on visiting Costa Rica do not go on any tours that use Go South Adventures Tours, Costa Rica. I add the Costa Rica to the name because they are other tour companies called Go South Tours.
Here is what my wife’s wrist looked like after trying to get in one of Go South Adventure Tour boats.
Here is the events that led to us having to end our stay in Costa Rica and go back home so my wife could gave surgery. Again because of the actions of Rebecca Rojas the owner of Go South Adventure Tours, Costa Rica. I know it is long but you really should read it if you are even thinging of going to Costa Rica. So you can avoid using Go South Adventure Tours for your own safety
We scheduled the dolphin/ whale watching tour. This tour leaves from Playa Del Coco, Costa Rica. It was advertised has having a water taxi pick you up and take you out to their 25′ costa boat. Well the water taxi was merely another boat a little smaller, that they said would be easier to get in shore so we could get on. So we had to take off shoes and socks or sandals, wade out in the water to the back of the boat. Keep in mind their were four of us all in our mid sixtys. They had a small ladder at the back of the boat to climb up. That wasn’t too bad because there was something to hang on to. From there you were your own. You had to step up from the ladder two levels. Nothing to hang onto at this point. After you got to the top you had to step down one long step. Again nothing to hang on to, and this step was a flat fiber glass box, no ain’t skid on it at all and cover with water. As soon as my wife who is barely 5 ‘ tried stretching her foot down and made contact with the slippery surface she slid of it and fell about 3 feet into the steering well of the boat.
This was a totally preventable mishap, if the Go South people would have taken the precautions they should have. One there should have been something on the surface of that sep to prevent slipping. Two, there should have been something to hanging to. Three, the Go South person operating the boat or one of the others tour helpers should have been helping people into the boat instead of merely standing up front waiting.
My wife’s fall resulted in a broken wrist as well as several bruises over her body. The guy leading the tour comes in the boat and tries to get Jane up by pulling on her. I stopped him and told him not to do that because she broke her arm. ( Didn’t know it was the wrist until the X-ray). Ok now they realize it is serious. He says don’t worry they have insurance and will take care of everything. Well I’m sure he got told about that later. He called his boss (Rebecca). When she got there everything changed. They finally called and ambulance, which took over an hour to get there. In the mean time they brought out a lounge chair and we had Jane sit on the side of the boat as they held the chair up for her to slide on too. At first I thought they were going to drop her right in the water. But it went ok and they carried her to shore. Then we waited for the ambulance. The people around the area were really nice, trying to help in anyway they could. Then the boss arrived. First she wanted us to be taken to the public hospital. Of course she knew if we went there we would end up waiting for hours before Jane was seen. She finally decided we should go to the private hospital, because Jane was in an extreme amount of pain, but not to worry as she would be there with us and take care of everything. Well she was there and yes she took care of things until the doctor looked at the X-Rays and said she needed surgery on her wrist because it was an unstable fracture. Then the climate changed. She came in the room by us and said that she was arranging for us to be moved to the public hospital. She stated to us that the doctors there were better and that they could do the surgery the next morning. Even though they were ready to do the surgery that day where we were. Her tune was drastically going in a different direction. Now she was worried that it may cost too much and didn’t know if her insurance would cover it. So without even asking if we ere ok with this she told them to transfer my wife to the public hospital. She again said not to worry she would take care of everything and be there with us. And that she would pay for the ambulance to take my wife to the other hospital.
From this point everything went down hill. First Rebecca never showed up. Second nobody knew why we were even there. We were put in a overflowing room of people and had to wait to see someone, anyone. We were there for hours. I also had to pay for the ambulance. Finally we got someone to look at the X-rays. Eventually we ended up in a casting room and a orthopedic doctor came to see Jane. He agreed that needed surgery. However their were over 40 people ahead of her and it would be weeks. But he said she should not wait that long and that we should go back to the other hospital to have it done. He said he would put a cast on it so no more damage would be done. Before he did this he needed to try and reduce the fracture. They had no antesia so he put some numbing medicine in her wrist. Which Jane said hurt and did nothing to prevent the pain from what he was about to do next. He straddled her arm and quickly yanked on it then twisted her wrist. Jane screamed in pain and I can’t believe she didn’t pass out. He then pulled her arm down holding on to her figures, stretching it out while his assistant wrapped it in a cast. A heavy plaster cast.
From there we had to go to a another area were about fifty people were waiting to do the same thing. From there they ordered another X-ray to see if the cast was holding it right. Then we had to take the X-rays back to where we first started and were suppose to wait again until we were called. Enough was enough I bypassed this room and went in the back and found the doctor to look at the X-ray. He said it would hold for now but she needed to get the surgery as soon as possible.
By this time it was late. They gave her nothing for the pain. In fact they did not even take out the cathader that the other hospital put in to her so she she could get some pain medicine and have her ready for surgery. The other couple we went with were waiting for us so we decided to go home and go to the other hospital in the morning. At home I took out the cathader and Jane took some pain pills we had with us. But they did no good. Our friends that were with us had gotten Rebecca’s number. Calling her I explained that they couldn’t do it at the public hospital and that they told us to go back to a private one to get it done. She demanded to know why, and I told her what the doctor had told us. Now she said that they were not responsible and would not be paying anything and that I had too. She stated I needed to file a claim with the court and that I would have to pay. I told her my wife had to have it done within the week. Not her problem she said.
Jane was in so much pain I had to take back to the emergency room at a private hospital a little closer to us. Here they put another cathader in to help with the pain. Looking at the X-rays they also said she would need surgery. They could do it but it would be around $10,000 dollars. It had to be paid before they would do the surgery.
Well we did not have $10,000. And didn’t know where to get it. So they gave Jane some pain medicine to last a week. And to let them know when I had the money. To wrap up, our only option was to head back to the states to have it done. So we had to get plane tickets, leaving the house we had rented until May fourth and head home.
Here are pictures of the first hospital we went to, until Rebecca found out my wife needed surgery.
And then this is the public hospital that she had us shipped to, and told us she had everything arranged and my wife would have the surgery in the morning. Of course she really didn’t and we never saw her again. And I had to pay to have her brought to this hospital.
Recommendations and Thoughts
First have some kind of travel insurance. Now we did have it for our first two months of travel. But seeing that you would still need to pay out of pocket first, then be reimbursed, it would not have helped much right away when they needed the money first. Second we were under the impression medical services were cheap there. Not so in this case. Thus we didn’t continue the insurance because we figured if needed, just pay out of pocket.