San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Beach Accident Leaves U.S. Student Paralyzed

An accident in the surf at FlamingoBeach, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, left U.S. college student Larry Busch paralyzed from the chest down during his Spring Break vacation in Costa Rica.

The 22-year-old senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was flown back home Saturday, was playing with members of his fraternity at flinging each other into the surf, The Seattle Times reported.

When Busch, a business major, was flung into the waves, he fell headfirst onto a shallow part, hitting the sand and crushing a vertebra in his neck, according to The Seattle Times.

After a five-hour ambulance ride to San José, doctors plugged Busch into a ventilator and diagnosed his paralysis.

The fraternity brothers he was traveling with were forced to leave him here and return to the United States, where they launched a fundraising campaign to pay for Busch’s air ambulance flight home. They raised $20,000, which they handed over to Busch’s mother, according to the Zeta Psi fraternity Web site.

The fraternity has set up a Larry Busch Fund that accepts donations at all Bank of America branches, and is also selling wrist bands as part of the drive to assist Busch, who is not fully covered by medical insurance.

For info on making donations or an update on Busch’s condition, visit the Web site:


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