A British holidaymaker told how she was lucky not to lose her left foot after it was ‘sliced wide open’ in a horror accident at a water park in Spain.
Mum-of-four Stephanie Somerville, 32, said she was left in agony and covered in blood after she was catapulted into a wall by a ‘dangerous’ water slide at Rio Safari Elche water park in Alicante.
Stephanie has been signed off work for eight weeks and has been told she may require surgery after the accident last Thursday (September 7).
She hit out at staff who told her they believed she had ripped her foot open on a loose nail but they could not find the object and carried on ‘as if nothing had happened’.
She said: ‘They just don’t care. They kept the pool open with kids inside. It’s so dangerous.
Stephanie Somerville, 32, was left covered in blood after she was catapulted into a wall by a ‘dangerous’ water slide at Rio Safari Elche water park in Alicante, Spain
Stephanie believes that she ripped her foot open on a loose nail, but hit out at staff who she claimed carried on ‘as if nothing had happened’. She may yet require surgery
Stephanie said that the cut to her foot was more than five centimetres long and was rushed to a hospital nearby. She was told that she was lucky to not have lost her foot
‘My foot was torn open to the bone in one clean slice.
‘I’m worried that the next accident that happens there will be even worse.’
Stephanie – a hospitality worker at Celtic Football Club – told how she jetted out to the Spanish resort on the Costa Blanca for a week long break with partner Charlie, 28, along with her three daughters aged 12, six and four and baby son Tyrien who is just eight-months-old.
But she said the holiday turned into a nightmare after the trip to the water park on the second day of their break.
Describing the accident Stephanie, from Anniesland, Glasgow, said: ‘There was a big slide which you had to go down on a rubber doughnut.
‘I went down for the first time. It’s a very fast slide but instead of being a wide or long pool at the end, it was very small.
‘I went flying off the slide into the pool and smashed into the wall.
‘Unless you were able to turn, which was possible, there was no way of avoiding it.
Stephanie claimed that the Rio Safari Elche water park in Alicante was ‘dangerous’
Stephanie has been signed off work for eight weeks following the accident
‘The wall was made of rubber but I hit it very hard.
‘I tried to stop myself but when I put my foot down in the pool there was a tremendous pain.
‘I thought that I had broken my foot. I was in agony.
‘I didn’t realise what had happened until I came out of the pool and a Spanish man came over and was asking if I was OK.
‘He was pointing at my foot. I looked down and there was blood everywhere.
‘It was then I realised the bottom of my foot had been sliced wide open.’
Stephanie said no members of staff were able to offer medical assistance and she was advised to drive to a private hospital 15 minutes away.
She said: ‘‘I was crying and I couldn’t walk.
‘They didn’t care or bother at all. It was just a random guy who helped me out. There wasn’t anyone there who had any medical training to help.
‘My foot had been cut open and there was blood in the pool but they didn’t do anything.
‘Luckily my kids had stayed in the little pool and hadn’t been on the slide but there were children as young as five or six who were using it.
’We were left to our own devices and had to drive ourselves to hospital.’
Stephanie said that when she arrived at the IMED Hospital in Elche, doctors were not surprised to see her.
She said: ‘At the hospital they said it was very bad. They said I would need surgery but that I was lucky because I could have lost my foot.
‘Whatever was in the pool has ripped through the back of my toe and slashed through the whole front half of my foot.
‘The cut is more than five centimetres long. It’s one clean slash. I had to have stitches.
Following the accident, Stephanie spent the next five days of her family holiday ‘staying indoors’ as it was too painful to move around
Stephanie, of Glasgow, works for Celtic Football Club and had been in holiday with her children in Spain
Stephanie – who has been in contact with a lawyer and insurers – said the water park paid for her basic treatment but refused to pay compensation and insisted they could do nothing more for her.
She said: ‘There’s obviously something not right there. That slide needs to be closed down. It’s dangerous. People don’t realise what they’re letting themselves in for.
‘It’s really fast. There’s nothing holding you in and you come down into this area that’s just too small.
‘We went back to the water park two days later as they had stopped taking our calls.
‘They had done nothing about it at all.
‘They thought it was a tiny loose nail or a screw that caused it but they said they couldn’t find anything and kept it open as normal.
‘There was no proper investigation. They don’t know whether the nail was on the ground or in the wall.’
Stephanie told how she spent the next five days of her holiday ‘staying indoors’ at the villa the family had rented as part of their £2,100 holiday.
‘She said: ‘I couldn’t go out as I couldn’t walk. I had to buy crutches and antibiotics but it was too painful to get around.
‘We had only been there two days when it happened and the whole holiday was ruined. It turned into a nightmare.’
Stephanie said she was only given permission to fly home at the last minute after airport staff spoke to doctors at the hospital that treated her.
She was taken to the plane in a wheelchair and her foot swelled up so badly on the flight home that she needed another wheelchair after landing – before going straight to A&E from the airport.
She said: ‘I’ve got a baby and I’ve been signed off work for eight weeks and my partner who is self-employed can’t work right now as he is looking after me and helping with the kids.
‘I’m still in a lot of pain. I’ve got to go back to have my stitches out.
‘They don’t know anything yet. I won’t know if I will need surgery or additional treatment until after that and the wound could get infected – anything could still happen.’
MailOnline contacted the water park for comment.