Canadian Woman Needed 9 Hours of Surgery After Being Attacked at Mexico Resort

A Canadian woman needed nine hours of plastic surgery after she was viciously attacked in her hotel room at a Mexican resort.

Lexie York arrived at the Grand Bahia Principe resort in Tulum, Mexico, on November 10, her brother Mathew York told CBC News. She was waiting for her mother's arrival the next day, but that night she was beaten so badly by a man she had met earlier in the evening she needed reconstructive surgery.

The 29-year-old, from Ottawa, Canada, met the man with a group of couples in the lobby of the resort, Lexie York told CTV from her hospital bed. He later pushed his way into her room and started beating and strangling her, she said.

"I was on the floor and could barely see. It was my immediate thought to get out of that room and go look for help," she told the TV station.

She was knocked unconscious, but was able to feel her way out of her room and seek help after waking up, Mathew York added to CBC. He said she couldn't see because her eyes were swollen shut.

Lexie York was taken to a hospital in Playa del Carmen then transferred to another facility in Cancun, her brother said. There, she underwent surgery that included having plates placed in her cheek and mesh around one of her eyes, according to CTV.

Mathew York, who has traveled to Mexico to be with his sister, also set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for her ongoing care in Mexico until she is cleared to return to Canada.

On the page, which has raised more than $37,000 in three days, he wrote: "Lexie is a beautiful, intelligent, kind hearted, generous and trusting young woman. She is a loving daughter, sister and Auntie, who cares about everyone around her; Lexie is a great friend and co-worker to all. Everyone who has ever had the pleasure of knowing Lexie adores her."

He added that "what should have been an amazing family vacation took a horrific turn" after the man who attacked his sister in her room claimed to be there to check on her.

"It was then that he attacked her in her room and left her lying there beaten, strangled and unconscious," he said. "Lexie escaped the room despite her injuries and was calling out for help until another guest heard her and came to her aid."

She has sustained multiple facial fractures, a fractured orbital bone and multiple lacerations to her face and neck. The reconstructive surgery took a "grueling" nine hours and 30 minutes, he added.

He added that his sister is "just blown over and in tears by your generosity."

Police in Tulum have charged Ricardo Sanchez Pichardo, of Mexico City, with attempted murder.

Lexie York, who works as a flight attendant, is a frequent traveler, but said she won't travel alone again. She urged other travelers to be "extra careful," but added to CTV: "I don't want people to be afraid because traveling is such an amazing and great experience."

She added that she is looking forward to coming home and "getting back on track."

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesman for the Bahia Principe said the incident was "extremely upsetting."

"This incident is extremely upsetting, and our hearts go out to the victim. The safety and security of hotel guests and staff has been and always will be our number one priority," the spokesman said.

"As soon as the hotel was informed of the incident, staff immediately activated our internal security protocol. That included providing urgent medical assistance and alerting the local authorities, who immediately arrested the suspect, a guest in the resort. We wish Ms. York a speedy recovery and hope that the authorities get to the bottom of this incident as soon as possible."

Newsweek has contacted Mathew York for comment.

Update: This article has been updated to include a statement from Bahia Principe.

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Stock photo: Tourists enjoy the beach in Tulum National Park, Quintana Roo state, Mexico. A Canadian woman needed nine hours of surgery after a man attacked her in her hotel room at a resort in Tulum, Mexico. Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images