Mango Picker Paralyzed In Fall From Tree

July 18, 2008

A 58-year-old Puriscal man was found paralyzed at the base of a mango tree Tuesday morning after two days of outdoor exposure.

Neighbors of Fabio Arias told The Tico Times that he set out Sunday morning to collect mangos from nearby trees in the small mountain town of Vista de Mar, Puriscal, in the central Pacific region.

After collecting all the fallen mangos he could, Arias climbed one of the mango trees in search of more. Arias then fell from the tree, severely injuring his back. Unable to move, he called for help but was out of earshot of any neighbors.

He lay beneath the mango tree for about 52 hours, through two nights of heavy rain and relentless mosquitoes that left his bare chest swollen and red. During his ordeal, Arias told authorities, he ate some mangos that had fallen within his reach.

About 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, a local boy driving cattle to pasture came across Arias lying in an awkward heap on the ground.

He appeared to have suffered dehydration. Residents called an ambulance and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital.

 

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