The beach trip that didn’t go as planned….. ended with a trip via helicopter to the hospital in San Jose

Hello friends, this is that far the hardest post I’ve ever written. My family, along with another family, went to the beach this weekend to celebrate the start of a holiday week. Saturday morning started out normal. We went on a horseback riding tour at a waterfall. We had a lot of fun. But we were super hot so the first thing the kids wanted to do when we got back to the rental house was jump in the pool. The pool was beautiful and had a beautiful view. Pictured below from the day before.

you can see right below the sunset is a ledge. There was about a 7 to 8 foot drop and then just a huge ravine. We had made several comments the day before while lounging at the pool how terrible a fall from that ledge would be and we kept a very close eye on all five of the kids that were there. They never even got close to the ledge. As Sloane was gearing up to have a big jump into the pool Saturday morning she took one step too far backwards and fell.

As parents we would hope that we could shield our children from having accidents like this. Nathan was right there but things happen in just a split second that we have no control over. Yes, if we could do it again we would have people standing there making sure our child did not fall. But we can’t go back. Trust me, I have been kicking myself ever since this happened. It’s not helpful.

Luckily, Nathan’s fight or flight instinct kicked in and he literally jumped down and was able to grab her. This could have been so much worse. There were bushes and other plants there that I guess helped her fall. She landed hard on her left leg. It was obviously broken. The first hardest part was getting her out of the ravine and up to the level of the house. We had to work together as a team to make this happen. In our bathing suits we got in the car without having a clue where the nearest hospital was. Benson sat up front with Nathan and help him navigate. And I tried to keep Sloane’s leg steady in the backseat. Blake couldn’t stop screaming because she was so traumatized by what she saw. *** my family found it important that I add this note… While we were driving to the hospital Sloane was comforting me and Blake in our distress all the while her bone was about to come through her skin😩 Unfortunately the closest hospital was about 45 minutes away and we were up in the mountains so our car was the fastest way to get us there instead of calling an ambulance. In retrospect I think we made the right decision because I think it would’ve taken an ambulance far too long to get there.

We made it to the “hospital” which was in a marina in a strip mall kind of place. It was not marked at all and took us forever to figure out which entrance to go in. We kept trying to explain that we had an emergency but they didn’t seem to understand. Finally someone who spoke some English showed us where to go. The clinic was closing at that moment but stayed open just for us. They were able to x-ray her there and we knew immediately that we would be taken either via ambulance or helicopter to San Jose for treatment. It would have taken about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to get there via ambulance and we would have had to deal with traffic and bumpy roads and lots of curves. And we did not know at this point if she needed surgery or not, we just knew that she had a bad break.

The ambulance service came in to advise us and gave us the prices and time differences between the ambulance and the helicopter. We made the decision to go via helicopter. Only one parent could go and I was in no position to drive our other children back to San Jose so I rode with her. Luckily, our sweet friends, Joey and Julie Menendez came and got the other two kids from the clinic and drove them back to the rental house. Nathan later drove back and got the kids and all of our stuff to drive back to San Jose.

We had to take an ambulance to the airport and then the helicopter ride only took about 40 minutes. Then we took another ambulance to the hospital. The transitions from place to place with the hardest part. She was in so much pain. They had to get an IV in which took several tries because she was so dehydrated. They got some morphine in her system but by the time we made it to San Jose she started vomiting. She was laying flat so she was choking. It was very scary.

We were diligently praying the whole time and God put several wonderful people in our pathway. Not everyone spoke English but I could feel God’s presence in every conversation. We knew the instant that we saw her after she fell that we were so lucky. It really should have been a completely different situation. I can’t even explain what this ravine was like.

We finally made it to the hospital and again had excellent care. They had to cut her bathing suit off of her but I was so glad because she was covered in vomit and the bathing suit was still wet. It needed to go. They got her pretty cleaned up and the orthopedist came in, he spoke no English but a nurse was able to translate. He did not recommend surgery but he said if an adult had this injury that they be in the OR right now. Luckily she is a child who is still growing and she will heal quickly. We were so unbelievably relieved.

The next part was the hardest part for her of the day. They had to set the bone and put on the cast. They wouldn’t give her any pain reliever because she had thrown it up. Her foot was facing outward to begin with and they had to completely rotate it. As she was screaming in pain and I felt so helpless.

After they set it and put the cast on she had one more x-ray to make sure it was the right place and thank goodness it was. She was then able to rest a little bit. My sweet friend Diana came to the hospital and helped to translate our discharge instructions and get us home. She was a godsend! After getting home I still needed to get her cleaned up from the vomit and settled so she could rest. She is in a lot of pain but glad to be home.

Her cast goes all the way up to the top of her thigh so it is tricky to do much of anything. We ask for prayers specifically for strength for her, confidence that she can get through this, and patience for us. We are out of school this week which is a blessing. We are watching YouTube videos trying to learn how to use crutches. Nathan is headed now to find a wheelchair. The cast is longer than her other leg and she can’t bend her knee so we are working hard to figure out how to help her.

She is feeling very down and sad. It is very heartbreaking. She is usually such a confident strong little child. Yesterday was pretty terrible but I’m afraid the next couple of weeks may even be harder.

We know how lucky we are and we know we are not the only family who has ever had to go through this. But this is the first time WE HAVE had to go through it so we are taking it hour by hour. Please keep her in your prayers and we will try to keep everyone updated.

As traumatizing as everything was yesterday I did take a few pictures. We had always talked about wanting to see Costa Rica from above and this is not how we wanted to do it but we were reminded how beautiful this country is yesterday. And our new friend Sergio was there to give me the guided tour from the helicopter.

this picture is of the line of cars that was taking pictures of us getting on the helicopter. Even the ambulance service was taking selfies. I don’t think this happens very often here. this is a picture from above all of the palm trees. The picture below is of our Price mart which is like Sam’s. this is where our house and school is this is the Area where Nathan’s office is and the hospital here is Sloane finally resting at home last night.

24 thoughts on “The beach trip that didn’t go as planned….. ended with a trip via helicopter to the hospital in San Jose

  1. Jennifer! I cried while I read this to the kids. I’m so glad that sweet baby is going to be okay. That could’ve been bad! I know you were terrified. We’ll pray for her to get better every day and that her frustration level will stay at a minimum. Tell her that Amos and Quincie said they will pray every morning.❤️


  2. Jennifer, I’m so glad that she is going to be ok. Give her my love and tell her I will certainly be praying for Sloane.


  3. We are praying for all of you, especially Sloan. She is beautiful and out. 💕💕💕💕💕💕 Mike & Kathy Parks


  4. Just saw this. Prayers for strength and quick healing. ❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻Prayers for rest and comfort, too. She can research some beautiful cakes to make when she feels better.


  5. Prayers from the Hunt’s… so thankful the fall was not worse. Praise the Lord for His interventions all along the way!


  6. Oh my! I’m so glad Nathan was close enough to grab Sloan before she got to far down. Praying for a speedy recovery!


  7. I can’t even imagine the despair and heartache you and your family have been through! We all know that you are in good hands with our Lord right there with you. Jennifer just take it day by day and let every day take care of itself. Try to test as much as possible. Love and prayers for Sloan and your family.


  8. We’re praying for y’all! They announced it at church this morning. Prayers for fast healing and a complete recovery. ❤️❤️ Love, Raeven Thomas


  9. Praying for y’all. I go to church with your mom. I am so sorry to hear what y’all have had to go through. Praying for y’all. ♥️


  10. Jennifer. Your hole family will be in our prayers. Close your eyes and vizier prayers coming to you. God is good and I know he will heal Sloan completely. Love y’all. Brenda and Steve Harkness


  11. Praying for your sweet baby. That had to be so scary for y’all. Larry and I worry about that when we take our kiddos from 7th and Mueller to do service projects because something like that can happen so fast. We will be praying for a speedy recovery.


  12. As I was reading this I was so nauseous and tears were blurring my vision😩 YOU ARE ALL SO BLESSED!
    Thank you God for taking care of sweet Sloane and you! Prayers of thanksgiving and healing🙏🏼 I would be screaming with Blake! I am glad you got to take a helicopter tour but sad that it was at Sloane’s expense!! Please give her a big hug and sign our names on her cast❤️ She is so brave and I know she won’t let this get her down too long! We love y’all so much and we hurt when you hurt😢


  13. Uncle Larry and Aunt Ann send lots of love and prayers for our sweet Sloan to heal, to be free of pain and to know she is loved by so many. And we pray for her family as you support her in her recovery. We miss y’all.


  14. So sorry this happened but glad she is going to be Ok. We will certainly put her and all your family on our prayer list.


  15. Jen,
    I don’t know if you’d remember me but I worked with your mama for several years in Dr Schechter’s office. Before you or I either one had babies of our own. My heart goes out to your family. It is absolutely the hardest thing to watch your child suffer and be unable to help. I know our Father understands that anguish because he allowed His son to suffer for us. So we could be with our families. Forever. You have the sweetest, BEST family and I know they are all praying for y’all. I’ll be praying, too.


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