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Phuket honeymooner partially paralyzed as speedboat tackles rough waters

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: A Swedish honeymooner in Phuket was partially paralyzed from a fall as her speedboat to Phi Phi Island tackled choppy waters last month.

“I still have pain in my back. I can move my legs a little bit, but I cannot move my feet at all,” Karin Josefsson said. “My husband also hurt his back, but not severely.”

Mrs Josefsson and her husband, Conny, arrived in Phuket on January 14.

“We have been married for a year and are finally taking our honeymoon. My husband has been here before and told me how beautiful the island is. I love scuba diving, and the Phuket people and beaches are so nice,” said Mrs Josefsson from her hospital bed.

The Josefssons boarded a speedboat destined for Phi Phi with about 24 other passengers on January 19.

“The waves were too high and too strong, but the captain insisted we leave. I had not seen any other boats leave that morning,” Mrs Josefsson said.

“Six of us sat at the front of the boat. The ride was so rough that… my husband and I fell down onto the deck.”

“I was immediately in pain and could not feel anything below my waist. I shouted at the driver to turn around, but he refused. I showed him that I was in pain and could not move. Finally, we headed back to Phuket.”

Several minutes after the boat arrived, an ambulance transferred the Josefssons to Bangkok Hospital Phuket. An x-ray taken at the hospital revealed serious damage to Mrs Josefsson’s spine.

“The alignment wasn’t right, the doctor put a metal rod on each side to support it,” she explained.

The two metal rods were held in place with nine screws.

“I don’t want to file any complaints or get anyone in trouble. I hope they consider this a lesson learned. I don’t want anyone else to face a situation like this,” she said.

Mrs Josefsson agreed to file the medical costs through her personal health insurance, as requested by the boat operator.

Specialists from Sweden, Denmark and Norway will visit Mrs Josefsson and evaluate her condition, she explained. She and Mr Josefsson flew back with the doctors on January 30.

“It might take months to fully recover, but I promise I will be back to Phuket,” she added.

— Saran Mitrarat

 

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