A British woman has been left paralysed from the waist down after suffering the bends while scuba diving in Indonesia.
According to The Mirror, Amy Stone, 28, ‘suffered permanent spinal damage from the nitrogen in her blood after a series of dives at a five-star resort.’
The newspaper added that the resort, Oceans Five, said ‘they could not comment as the investigation was ongoing but insisted their version of events was different to hers.’
Amy, who is a marathon runner from Leatherhead in Surrey, is suing the resort for £50,000 in damages, maintaining that instructors ‘failed to notice that she had tell-tale signs of the bends.’
The young woman, who spent three weeks in a decompression chamber when she should have been enjoying a six-month gap year trip with her boyfriend, now has no feeling below the waist and though she has learnt to walk again, cannot run.
Amy, who was 26 at the time of the event in April 2015, told The Mirror: “It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime but it very nearly cost me my life.
“I’ve had no apology from the instructors. They didn’t help me at all and could have cost me my life.
“They should have spotted the signs and got me to hospital.
“I’m pleased with my progress and glad to be walking again but I’ll never be able to run, which is one of my main passions or enjoy simple pleasures like sitting in a hot bath as I can’t feel the water.”
Amy was four months into her around the world trip when she booked a five-day stay at the PADI five-star Oceans Five Dive resort.
She emerged from a dive on the third day temporarily blind and disorientated with ‘what felt like the worst migraine imaginable’, and had to be ‘dragged’ from the water onto the support boat and given oxygen.
According to the report, Amy claims that the instructors told her the 10m dive ‘was not deep enough’ to experience decompression illness.
She states that staff gave her the all clear to dive again two days later, and when she surfaced the symptoms reappeared, but this time her arm was twisted and temporarily paralysed.
Sensation in her arm returned but she soon lost feeling in her legs. Amy claims that resort staff told her that she had “overexerted” herself and told her not to go to hospital.
After six hours of paralysis Amy and her boyfriend Richard decided to leave for the hospital.
Amy headed to Harapan Keluarga Hospital where she was diagnosed with decompression illness.
She had to be taken to a port which was a further 45-minute drive from the hospital to be treated in a decompression chamber for seven hours.
She was repatriated thanks to her insurance and had a further month’s decompression treatment at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.
In response to Amy’s claims, Oceans Five told The Mirror: “Since this case is still ongoing we cannot make any comments at this time.”
Stock image of Kelingking Beach, Indonesia