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Calgary couple’s Mexican getaway ends in health care nightmare

UPDATE – January 9, 2014 – A spokesperson for the Grand Sirenis has contacted Global News, and says they aren’t able to comment on the incident due to an ongoing police investigation, but may comment once the investigation has concluded in the next few days.

READ MORE: Mexico resort claims argument led to woman’s balcony fall

CALGARY- A bride-to-be is recovering from serious injuries, after a frightening incident at a resort in Mexico.

Last week, Katarina Pacileo headed to the five-star Grand Sirenis in Riviera Maya with her fiancé, to celebrate their recent engagement. The couple had only been there for a day when Pacileo went out on their balcony and leaned against the iron railing. It gave way, and she fell about six metres to the hard ground below.

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“I ran to the patio and saw she was on the ground and not moving,” remembers her fiancé, Dustin Holizki. “I freaked out, she still wasn’t moving, I panicked.

Pacileo was knocked unconscious, broke her collarbone and needed two dozen stitches in her back. She was rushed by ambulance to a private hospital, where they were asked for $2,500 up front. While the couple has medical insurance, they did not have the money in hand and had to move to a different hospital.

READ MORE: What Canadians need to know about travel health insurance

It was more than an hour before Pacileo received any treatment, and when she was finally helped doctors didn’t give her any painkillers or antibiotics.

“I describe it like torture,” she cried, while recounting her ordeal to Global News.

“Honestly, it was the most terrifying thing I’d ever seen,” added Holizki. “Not just the trauma, but how they were performing what they were doing…I had to hold her hip and her head while they were stitching her up.”

She was then sent back to the hotel.

Adding insult to injury, Pacileo claims her brand-new engagement ring was missing when they returned to their room, and the hotel has also asked the couple to pay for the damaged balcony. The hotel happens to be the same one where a Canadian couple discovered a peephole in their bathroom last January.

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WATCH: Couple finds peephole in Mexican hotel

“We’re Canadian, and I will never take that for granted,” Pacileo said. “They just don’t care. You could die in the street and they don’t care.”

The couple returned to Calgary on Tuesday, and Pacileo was promptly rushed to the Peter Lougheed Hospital. She was released on Wednesday morning and is now recovering at home.

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