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February 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 33, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Get Bent and Who is at Fault?

from the February, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

A young British woman was left paralyzed from the waist down after suffering from DCS on a scuba diving trip. Amy Stone, 28, from Leatherhead near London, suffered spinal damage after a series of dives with a 5-star Oceans Five dive resort in Indonesia two years ago.

The former marathon runner is now suing the resort for £50,000 ($67,000) in damages because she alleges that the diving instructors should have spotted the signs of DCS and got her treated for it, instead of allowing her to dive again.

After her third dive, she surfaced temporarily blinded and disorientated, but claims the dive staff told her she had not gone deep enough to get bent and gave her the all-clear to dive two days later, when she lost all feeling in her legs.

She was eventually repatriated after spending seven hours in a recompression chamber, but after two years of treatment back in the UK, she still needs neurophysiotherapy to keep her mobile and is catheterized.

Clearly, it's a tragic accident. However, one would think that a certified diver would know enough not to dive again without a medical check-up after temporary blindness -- or any serious symptom, for that matter. That said, any divemaster worth his salt would have kept her out of the water.

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