OLD BROOKVILLE - A trip through Southeast Asia for a medical school graduate from Long Island turned into a life-saving experience.
Dianna Sholomon, of Old Brookville, was on a monthlong trip through the region with her boyfriend, Sean Connell, as part of her graduation present from her parents. It was in Laos where they met Molly Deimeke, of St. Louis, who was travelling alone. The three spent the next two days together.
After a night at the bar, Connell says the three jumped on a tuk-tuk, a Laos taxi that has double-decker seating. While they were traveling at about 30 mph, he says Deimeke slipped and fell off the vehicle and landed on her head.
Connell says she had three cracks in her skull and was knocked completely unconscious.
The couple says the only hospital in the area had just a few gurneys and an X-ray machine. Sholomon says she aided the staff at the hospital.
"We did everything we could. I put an IV line in her,” Sholomon told News 12. “I was the only doctor there."
The couple had another problem. They knew Deimeke’s name, but not much else. She had no passport on her and no contact information. Connell and Sholomon drove to 30 hotels to see if anyone recognized her picture, but were unsuccessful.
“We got the American embassy on the phone. We contacted everyone who looked close to her on Facebook. Most of them thought we were trying to scam them, so they didn't get back to us," said Connell.
The embassy eventually made contact with Deimeke’s sister Leah, who says she is overwhelmed with gratitude for the young couple.
She is being treated for a skull fracture, internal bleeding in her brain and five broken ribs at a hospital in Bangkok. Friends have set up a fundraising website to help the family with the expenses.