By James Somper
This shocking video shows the moment a helpless mum-of-two was stripped naked and nearly left paralysed after a freak accident.
Tracy Turner, 51, sustained crushed bones and fractures to her back and neck after being knocked back while using a wave machine at the waterpark attached to the Coral Sea Aqua Club Hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Incredibly the moment she was injured was caught on camera where the water pressure was so strong it ripped off her bikini top and bottoms.
Tracy, from Pontefract, West Yorks claims doctors later told her she was just millimetres from ending up permanently disabled after crushing bones between her vertebrae in her back.
She now endures regular painful injections in her spine and takes a cocktail of painkillers and wants to warn other holidaymakers about the dangers of waterparks.
She said: “People need to realise these water parks are dangerous.
“I was lucky not to be in a wheelchair but the next person might not be. My life has changed forever and has been ruined from a simple water ride.
“I never knew they were that dangerous. I was a real outdoors person and had a great social life – now I can’t do anywhere near as much as I used to. I have also piled on the weight as I can’t go to the gym and am depressed.
“The worst thing is that the tour operator TUI don’t care. They are happy to take your money but if anything happens then they are not bothered. They wash their hands of you. They never even bothered to see me after I was injured.
“People going on holiday with them need to know the risks of using water rides and getting injured. The pain is constant and I have been told there is no end in sight. I am not the same outgoing person I was before that holiday. ”
Tracy, and one of her twin sons, Joshua, 23, were looking forward to the family getaway with her sister and her niece to the 4 star Coral Sea Aqua Club in Egypt that ended with her devastating injury.
She enjoyed the first few hours of her two week holiday but on her second visit to the on site waterpark tragedy struck.
Tracy decided to brave a ‘Flowrider’ body board attraction – not realising it would change her life forever.
The 51-year-old from Pontefract, Yorks said: “ I got to the ride and there were no safety instructions. I just got told by the man to kneel on the body board which I did. I followed all his instructions but going on that ride was the worst mistake of my life.”
She went down the ride and fell off the board and got caught in the current which dragged her forward ripping off her bikini top before pulling down her bottoms and flipping her backwards over onto part of the wave machine changing her life forever.
She recalled: “The water pressure was unbelievable. It threw me around like a rag doll in a tumble dryer. I had no control.
“It slammed me forward and took my top off and I was covering myself up for a second. Then I didn’t know what was happening my bottoms came down and I didn’t stand a chance really – I was at the mercy of the water all the time.”
A holidaymaker came over and hid her modesty with a towel and she had to be helped off the ride by a lifeguard.
Another lifeguard watching the event was callously caught smirking on camera and trying to block the lens while the incident unfolded.
She added: “He never stopped laughing even when I got down the bottom, he didn’t try to help or anything.”
Her son helped her away from the ride but she didn’t know then how serious her injury was.
Tracy added: “I had a massive pain in my neck and back that I had never had before. It was so bad that I nearly fainted.”
Luckily her sister had hospital grade painkillers with her for another unrelated condition that she let her take.
She added:” I know you are not supposed to take other people’s medication but the pain was indescribable.”
Tracy claims her son reported the incident to the lifeguard, who agreed to note it in the accident book but Tracy alleges she wasn’t given a copy and is yet to see a report.
Relatives helped her back to her room. She claims the incident was also reported to the reception staff and the TUI rep who she says promised to visit her later, but this did not happen.
She then spent the remainder of her holiday in pain counting down the days to flying home.
She added: “I gave the rep my room number and my son saw them again but they never even bothered to come and see how I was. They didn’t care at all -it was appalling. I couldn’t wait to get home.”
She says her family told her she had likely bruised her back and so she continued to take strong medication until she flew home in June 2015.
But when the pain worsened following the flight home she got an emergency doctors appointment and after an examination he referred her to Pontefract hospital for X Rays.
It was then that doctors gave her the shocking news about her neck and back telling her she had fractures to her mid thoracic spine- a major section of the spinal column.
She added: I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He said I was very, very lucky not to be paralysed.
“I had no idea things were that bad. I was still in severe pain but at least I wasn’t in a wheelchair.”
She was told there wasn’t an option to operate as it would make things worse so instead they prescribed strong hospital medication to control the pain.
But she says the pain worsened so as well as taking morphine tablets during the day along with other strong painkillers she was given liquid morphine to have during the night.
She added: “The pain is like a constant really bad tooth ache that never goes away. It really hurts and I don’t know if or when it will get better. It is constant pain in my neck and my back between my shoulder blades.
“My doctor even told me it is likely that the injury could also cause arthritis in the future and I now have a new nagging pain at the bottom of my back.”
She says she now has to have help doing everyday tasks such as shopping and household chores including hoovering.
She also has regular injections of painkillers in her spine at hospital in a specialist pain clinic.
Since the accident in 2015 she also has seen her weight pile on and has gone from a size 8 to size 14 as she is no longer able to visit the gym.
She added: “It may not seem a big increase but to me it is. I always kept myself in shape but now I can’t and I have lost all my confidence as I can’t work out. It’s making me depressed as I am in the house a lot whereas before I was always out doing stuff. ”
She also says that the pain and depression was so bad that she didn’t even attend her own 50th birthday night out which had been arranged by a friend.
Since her accident in 2015 she claims her travel operator TUI refused to apologise so she was left with no choice but to take legal action.
Last night Allen Wilson – one of the world’s leading experts on Water Parks said: “Wave pools and rides are notorious for people getting injured. I have heard of many cases of people who have been left with life changing injuries after a bit of holiday fun. Tour operators need to listen to expert advice when designing and maintaining these type of attractions.”
Travel Lawyer Claire Rabbetts from Simpson Millar solicitors who is representing Tracy said tour operators have a duty to check that hotel facilities such as water parks are safe to use.
She said: “This was a very nasty injury which could easily have resulted in Tracy being paralysed. She has had a very rough time since the accident. This incident demonstrates how dangerous certain water attractions can be without attentive lifeguards and health and safety measures.
“Whilst water parks are fun attractions, if safety procedures are lacking they can become dangerous and cause devastating injuries.”
A TUI spokesperson said: “We’re aware of this matter, but as the case is proceeding to trial it would be inappropriate of us to comment further.”