My family and I have just returned from a week in Tulum, Mexico. Tulum is located approximately an hour and twenty minutes from Cancun. Landing into a jungle of lush greenery, we were hit with a wall of dense humid air when we stepped out of the airport. After waking up at four am that morning and only arriving at our resort at seven in the evening, you can imagine how exhausted we were.
At our our resort, we were greeted with cold beverages, refreshments and a group of friendly staff ready to take care of us. My husband and I were very grateful for such kindness and cheerful service.
We were tired, but excited to spend a week in a gorgeous resort with plenty of sunshine and yummy food. Even our daughter Gracie seemed to sense that we have finally arrived to our destination and was happily giggling and playing with her toys on the bed. We were unpacking and making plans for dinner, commenting on how nice the room was. Neither one of us could have thought the peaceful start to vacation was about to drastically change.
Both my husband and I were within five feet from the bed on which my daughter played. Most of the edges of the bed were bordered with pillows, just as a precaution. There was one spot where I had just changed my baby’s diaper and had not yet put the pillow back. I stepped away from the bed for a minute, putting Gracie in the center of the mattress. A few seconds later we heard a thud, I looked at the bed. It was empty. Terror filled my heart. I ran to pick up my screaming daughter off the cold tile floor.
We held her as she cried, checking her over for bumps, especially concerned about her head, wondering if she had hit it. Fear drove my husband and I to pray over and over again. We have never been more scared in our lives.
The bed she fell from was fairly high, and the flooring was tile. My husband contacted several of his nurse friends to see if they know anything about what head injury looks like in children, and which warning signs we need to watch for. The horrifying possibilities raced through our minds and we prayed that our little girl would be alright.
After a few minutes, we didn’t see any redness or bumps on her head, nor did she have any symptoms of a concussion or head injury. But she continued to cry from pain. We thought maybe she just got scared from the fall, but didn’t get seriously injured so we tried to comfort her and calm her down. Nursing her always works, so thats what I did, and she fell asleep in my arms, whimpering every few minutes.
As Gracie slept in our arms, we considered our options. Wait it out? See if maybe she is okay, just a little frightened? Go to a hospital? Do they even have a hospital anywhere nearby? We called the front desk and they told us that they have a doctor on call who we can speak to. We called him and he said there would be a fee for him to come out to the resort and see her, and he most likely won’t be able to do anything.
We asked about a hospital nearby. There was one thirty minutes away, to which we could take a taxi to. We didn’t know what to do. We asked some family back home to pray. We were exhausted, sleep deprived and starving. So we decided to sleep at least for a few minutes while Gracie slept.
About an hour later I woke up and felt her hot forehead. Thankfully we packed a thermometer and we checked her temperature, she was running a low grade fever. She kept whimpering in her sleep, and I noticed her whole body shaking when I picked her up. She was not acting normal. She woke and cried, clinging to us. At that point we knew we had to go to the hospital.
We called for a taxi, and the front desk lady advised us to go a private hospital in Playa De Carmen. Our taxi driver spoke no English, but seemed to understand that we need a hospital fast, because he drove much faster than the speed limit. I prayed that we would get there safely. Mexico does not have nor require carseats, so we were racing down the dark highway with our nine month old daughter, hoping that the driver would take us to the right place.
At that point I was crying, knowing that we are in God’s hands. There was nothing we could do. We were in a foriegn country, needing medical attention fast, not knowing if our driver would take us there, or if we would arrive safely, or if they would even see us. I knew in that moment I had nothing left to do but trust in God.
When we got to the hospital, it took a while to fill out paperwork and call our insurance. By God’s grace, my husband randomly decided to purchase travelers insurance last minute before we left home. We called them and they informed us that we were covered in medical expenses up to one hundred thousand dollars. Also we were covered for trip cancelation for up to five thousand dollars. If we would need to fly home, the expenses of that would be taken care of.
After talking to the insurance company, we were so amazed at how good our God is. He provided for us. Without us even knowing, He lead my husband to buy the insurance, which served us tremendously. We felt His presence in our fear and we were so comforted.
Once we got into the room, a doctor ordered an X-ray and gave Gracie some pain medication. Within a few minutes our girl was smiling again and giggling at the nurses. I was so thankful for pain medicine in that moment. There is nothing harder than seeing your child in pain.
The X-ray results came back. Gracie fractured her femur. Part of her bone shifted over leaving a three millimeter gap. The doctor told us she would need to call in an orthopedic surgeon to come see what the next steps would be.
The next hour was full of worry. We went through the possibilities of going home, and looking into the soonest flight into Seattle. If she needed surgery, we would need to go home right away. For an hour we waited, wondering what the next day would look like. We were thankful that Gracie was pain free and happy.
The orthopedic doctor arrived and brought good news. Gracie wouldn’t need surgery because her growth plate (the part of her bone that causes bone growth) wasn’t affected and babies her age grow and heal very quickly. He put a cast on her leg. He assured us that she would be alright and that there was no need to go home right away. He told us to keep a close eye on her, give the pain medicine as needed and see how she does. He even made her cast waterproof so that she could enjoy the pool with us.
When the receptionist handed us our bill, we were amazed to see that it was a total of $600. Much, much less than it would have been in the states.
My heart overflowed with worship to our God. He lead us through the scariest night of our lives. He was with us and poured out His blessings one after the other. Our night became a testimony of His grace in our lives. Again, I was reminded that I could rest in Him. He is our Heavenly Father and He takes care of His children.
Gracie only needed pain medication for a day and a half. After that, she was pain free. She loved napping by the ocean in her stroller in the warm caribbean breeze. She adored swimming in the pool in her little floater boat. She loved smiling at all the kind friendly staff who never seemed to stop calling her ‘bonita baby’. She loved the new flavors of guacamole and tortilla soup.
Despite her broken leg, she was one happy child. My husband and I got to relax. We enjoyed reading at the beach, swimming, listening to live music, and enjoying all the delicious food.
One thing that really blessed us was all the Hispanic staff. They were all just so happy. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted us with a ‘hola’ in passing. They all work so hard. After asking some of them, we were told their normal work week was six days on, one day off. They get paid salary. So no matter how hard or how long their day is, the get paid the same amount. It seemed so unfair to us, and yet they are thankful. We loved being surrounded with such good natured people all week.
So with this crazy week behind us, I am more aware than ever of God’s grace and mercy in our lives. I am grateful for my amazing husband who held us together and was strong through the toughest moments. I am thankful for my happy recovering girl. I am thankful for friends and family who prayed and sent encouraging texts. God is so good to us. He is writing His story. This vacation in Mexico is a chapter in our lives where his love and kindness will always shine bright as we look back and remember.