My birthday trip to Brazil was cut short because armed gunmen robbed our hotel in Buzios, Rio de Janeiro on the evening of Oct. 16th, 2013 at 9:30pm. Employees of the hotel and my travel partner were taken hostage but I escaped being held hostage due to falling through a roof onto concrete and deciding to hide in an employee bathroom. Police were called to the hotel but the robbers were able to escape. Over $1000 in cash was taken from my travel partner and additional money and items taken from the hotel staff. Although I was injured trying to escape, I am simply happy to be alive. I keep saying through the pain that "feeling pain means I am alive." My immediate concern was getting out of Buzios and then getting out of Brazil. Our ordeal began when the gunmen knocked on our hotel room door with a gun to the head of the hotel’s receptionist. My travel partner immediately slammed the door and barricaded it as the gunman tried to kick it open. We both escaped through our 2nd story hotel room patio door. We ran to escape but I eventually fell through the roof to the 1st level while my travel partner jumped to the neighboring home’s backyard area where he was eventually captured by the gunman and held hostage with the hotel staff. I believe my falling through the roof is what saved us because the 2 gunmen believed I had escaped, not realizing I was too injured to continue to run. It was absolutely the most horrifying hour of my life. I’ve never been more scared and ready to return home to safety. After being taken to the police station to file a report and to the hospital in Buzios for X-rays, we organized a 3 hour drive to Rio the city in preparation for an immediate early return home in Atlanta. I literally cried arriving into Rio’s airport yesterday evening on Oct. 17th and couldn’t wait to land on American soil and to hug my daughter, my Mom and my Brother. I arrived home this morning, Oct. 18th at 6:30am. The Brazilian news has covered the story at http://g1.globo.com/rj/regiao-dos-lagos/noticia/2013/10/bandidos-fazem-refens-em-assalto-hotel-de-luxo-em-buzios-no-rj.html
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