Joshua Aversa is seen on an ATV in Costa Rica in a family photo. CTV News
Joshua Aversa is seen on an ATV in Costa Rica in a family photo. CTV News

QCOSTARICA – The parents of a man Toronto-area man injured while on vacation in Costa Rica are overjoyed after their son awoke from a coma nearly two weeks after crashing an ATV. Joshua Aversa, 24, suffered the accident on November 13, while vacationing in the Pacific beach town of Tamarindo, Guanacaste.

Aversa was in Costa Rica with his girlfriend after graduating from a police foundationprogram, with plans to a few months in the country before returning to Canada.

“We were having such a good time,” his girlfriend Stephanie Vanderwouw said Wednesday to Canadian television network, CTV.

On Nov. 13, Aversa went for ATV ride alone and didn’t come back. The Newmarket native went into a coma as a result of his injuries.

Aversa was flown back to Toronto, where he remained in a coma until Wednesday.

“When Josh woke up for the first time… I can’t explain exactly, I just wanted to jump up and down, that’s how happy I was,” Aversa’s mother Gail Gross said Wednesday. Gross told CTV Toronto’s Ben Mercer that she’d been preparing for bad news. On Tuesday night, a doctor had explained to her that after 12 days in a coma, the young man’s odds of a successful recovery start dropping dramatically.

“Seeing my son open his eyes… It’s the most incredible thing any parent can see,” the young man’s father Marcello Aversa said.

Aversa is able to communicate by blinking his eyes to answer “yes” or “no” to questions, she said. He can also wiggle his toes and squeeze his mother’s hand.

Though the family is happy about Aversa’s recovery, they are also dealing with hefty medical bills from the man’s time in Costa Rica. Aversa didn’t have travel insurance, and the expenses amount to more than $60,000, including the flight back to Toronto which cost about $50,000.

An online crowdfunding campaign was set up by Aversa’s cousin to help cover the bills, and had raised $31,778 as of Thursday morning.

With files from CTV News Toronto


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