Couple refused treatment after accident in Bahamas

April 2, 2012 2:40:42 PM PDT
A young couple was seriously injured in a scooter accident while on vacation in the Bahamas and was refused medical treatment.

"They were going to die in the Bahamas," said Georgina Silow, the victim's mother.

Georgina Silow's 24-year-old daughter Diandra Barreto and her boyfriend Michael Gallinella are both alive and well and now getting good care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The young couple was vacationing in the Bahamas when on their last day they had a horrific scooter accident.

"My daughter was in really bad condition, she was really bad. Why don't they give you attention," Silow said.

They were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau, where the hospital would only stabilize them because they don't have health insurance.

Gallinella has a broken arm, broken ribs, and broke a large bone in his back.

Barreto has a dislocated femur, broken hip, lacerated liver, and may lose kidney because of the six days she spent without treatment.

"They don't want to give an MRI, cash up front, and we don't have $1,800 to pay for Michael's MRI and his elbow," Silow said.

Friends contacted local officials for help, including U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell.

"We thought we would make arrangements in Miami at one of the hospitals down there, but when they found out that they didn't have insurance that was the end of that idea," Rep. Bill Pascrell said.

Pascrell helped both families get a state department loan to add to $12,000 raised by friends in order to fly the couple to Teterboro Airport Friday night.

Hackensack agreed to treat them, without insurance.

"It was hard for Michael, but thank God they're here," Silow said.

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