Canadian tourist nearly loses foot after delaying care

Fear of Mexican hospitals nearly cost a Manitoba man his foot. Photo: CTV Winnipeg

Waiting to come home to look after an infection nearly cost a Manitoba man his foot.

Darren Thomas apparently was unsure of Mexico’s health system. So when he noticed some discoloration on the bottom of his foot, he didn’t rush to a doctor in Playa del Carmen, where he recently spent a week with his family.

The news back home in Canada was dire by the time he reported to an emergency room there.

“(The surgeon) said ‘we’re going to have to amputate your foot’ and a cold sweat just went all through me,” Thomas told CTV News in Winnipeg. 

“We just thought it was just a blister, because you know, we’d done quite a bit of walking.”

The issue cropped up on day four of the trip. By day five, the bottom of his foot was filled with fluid and there was even more discoloration.

Thomas had travel insurance, but rather than find a hospital in Playa del Carmen, he decided to rent a wheelchair and see a doctor back home. 

On his first trip to Mexico, Thomas didn’t know much about the country’s medical system, CTV reported.

Resisting amputation, Thomas asked for a second opinion, and doctors in Winnipeg attempted to treat the infection with powerful antibiotics. In 48 hours, drugs took effect, with swelling and redness subsiding. No amputation was needed.

Thomas said knowing what he knows now, he likely would have gone for medical treatment in Mexico instead of waiting until getting back home.

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