Thanks to the generosity of strangers and a caring family and friends, Elissa Antonio is in a Toronto hospital healing and doing well, relatives said, after she accidently fell off a cliff in Trinidad and Tobago.
To give Antonio, 40, time to recover in peace, the family asked that the hospital not be identified after she was airlifted home through an online fundraising effort.
The Camera was informed that although she is “with great pain,” she smiled when she saw her daughters’ faces. Pastor John Scott led a prayer of thanksgiving for bringing her home safely.
Antonio flew to Trinidad and Tobago on March 22 to visit family and was on the beach at night with her cousins when she tumbled 40 feet down a cliff, causing serious injuries to her pelvis, leg and heel.
“I didn’t realize where I was and I walked off a cliff,” she told the media while still in hospital in Trinidad.
Antonio’s friend, Aubrey Clarke, said the hospital in Toronto “assessed her within an hour of her being there. She had a CT scan which came back great and more xrays and ultrasounds.
“We were told they have prepped her for surgery and she should start healing as she came just in time to stop from healing in the wrong place,” Clarke said.
Antonio was initially transported to Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago after multiple calls for help. There, the energetic mother of two was bedridden in a country without the proper resources to treat her injuries.
“They don’t have anyone with the experience of fractures of the pelvis,” she said earlier this week.
To compound the issue, the CT machine was broken so they couldn’t do a scan to learn more about her injuries. She spent several weeks in Port of Spain General until funds could be raised to pay for the medical flight.
In order to return her to hospital and more advanced medical care, family and friends set up a fundraising page to have Antonioa flown to Toronto for treatment via air ambulance.
Spearheaded by Clarke, that page raised more than $50,000 in five days. Money left over after paying for the medical evacuation flight will be used for her continued rehabilitation.
Antonio said she is overjoyed by the donations and can’t thank people enough for their support.
She said this incident has taught her how fragile life is and how foolish she was not to apply for travel insurance.
She booked her trip online and never considered insurance because Trinidad and Tobago is like her home.