Freak Accident While on Dream Vacation Leaves Nurse with Severe Spinal Cord Injury

Travel plans for Deanne Niedziela and her husband, Ken, took a drastic turn as the couple was on vacation in Costa Rica. While touring La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park, a five-foot tree limb suddenly fell and crushed Deanne – Executive Director of Nursing at Providence Mission Hospital in California. Ken rushed to her aid, and other tourists nearby followed suit, but the couple had to wait a few long hours before they could get her to a hospital.

Her medical ordeal was just beginning, which included nine hours of surgery and a still unclear prognosis. Deanne has no sensation from the chest down, limited arm movement, and no finger strength. Nevertheless, the goal is to transport her back to California to Santa Ana’s Mission Hospital, where she oversees the Spine and Neuroscience Institute. Unfortunately, the medical fees for air transport alone could cost a whopping $100,000. To help deal with such costs, a GoFundMe page has been established.

Ken stressed that the number one priority is to stabilize Deanne to fly her back home safely. The accident has been an overwhelming tragedy for Deanne, her family, and her friends. Adding to their hardship is the challenge of getting Deanne back to California while covering the medical expenses collectively. On the flip side, her family and friends remain hopeful that with enough support, Deanne can fully recover and return home.

Jennifer Cord, Chief Nursing Officer of Providence Mission Hospital, thanked all the caregivers and physicians overseeing Deanne in Costa Rica and expressed eagerness to welcome her home. Ken added that Deanne’s strength would aid her in her endeavor to recover fully.