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American Tourist Paralyzed in Cancun Airbnb Pool

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Tragic Accident Leaves Man With No Movement In His Lower Half

A tragic accident in Cancun has left an American tourist paralyzed from the waist down. The accident is the second pool-related incident in a matter of weeks in the area.

cancun hospital sign

Dante Goodwin, of Fresno, California, was on vacation with his girlfriend and members of her family in Cancun last week, when tragedy struck in their rented pool.

According to his girlfriend, Shay Williams, Goodwin an accident as he entered the pool left him face down in the water. Williams did not see how he got into the water, and it is unclear, even in the aftermath, whether it was a slip or a jump that rendered him injured.

After waiting a few moments thinking he was joking, one of William’s cousins entered the water and turned Goodwin onto his back, and found his mouth filled with blood. The family immediately dragged him from the pool and laid him on the ground nearby where they cleared his mouth, Goodwin claimed he could not breathe at the time.

When he was able to speak, he told the family that he was unable to feel or move his feet or legs and needed to be taken to the hospital immediately. He was initially taken to a private hospital in the Cancun area where he stayed for two days. However, for undisclosed reasons, the decision was taken to move him to the Jesús Kumate Rodríguez General Hospital. There, he was quickly identified as having a cracked vertebra, and in turn, the nerve damage would be causing the paralysis.

medical flight cabin

He was also reported as having neck damage, although the extent of this injury is unclear at this moment. 

According to the doctor treating Godwin, the injuries sustained were “quite significant”, and the family immediately began plans to get him back to the United States where he could be treated effectively. A GoFundMe page was created and raised $29 thousand to pay for a medical chartered flight to Miami, where he is now being monitored.

Miami memorial hospital

Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Godwin is being treated, is renowned for its spinal treatment center, and it is hoped that he will make a strong recovery. The GoFundMe is expected to stay open to assist with any medical expenses that he will incur during treatment.

According to a social media post from Williams, the experience in Cancun’s medical centers was like a “horror movie”, and getting Goodwin out of the country was the main priority. She also told a news reporter that the family’s shuttle driver from the airport has been a light for the family. He continually drove them back and forth from accommodation to hospital and translated for the family when needed.

cancun ambulance

As the accident has only just happened, it is unclear if any legal action will be pursued by the family. . It is also unclear if the experiences in the Cancun hospital system will also prompt legal action. It is unknown if Goodwin had health or travel insurance to assist with the expenses incurred, but the estimated cost of a medical flight was around $60 thousand at the high end.

Sadly, it’s not the first accident to take place in recent weeks. Just three weeks ago a young boy was found dead in a pool in the Cancun Hotel Zone. Accidents like this do occur on a regular basis, especially as the resorts become busier. Many pools do not have lifeguards on alert if the pool is small enough and although most guests are expected to be aware of this, extra care is not taken.

red flag on beach

It’s much the same on the beach, where just last week, three bodies were found washed up on shore after drowning the previous evening. Many tourists also ignore flag warnings on the beach and swim when the lifeguards are not on patrol, endangering themselves in the strong currents, waves, and unpredictable riptides.

lifeguard in pool

Anyone using a pool or beach in Cancun should make themselves aware of the risks, ensure they have sufficient travel insurance to assist with any accidents, and don’t take any unnecessary chances. 

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Wednesday 29th of June 2022

Pelease, is tragic and sad, but stop blaming Cancún for everything, anything can happen anywhere in the world, again look at the USA, killings everywhere and also thousand's accidents per day, lock yourself in your house, people also die in different ways at home.