Was browsing through the forum and decided to share my experience on DCI here which I think will help other divers in the future.
May 2015 my 3 friends and I signed up for a 4D3N dive package with a dive company in Mabul Island. We have a total of 13 dives throughout the period and on the 11th dive at Similan Island, without any sign or symptom, I experienced difficulty breathing at 6 metres depth and I lost control of my lower limb. I was in the brink of passing out and uncontrollably i ascended automatically to the surface, lost my ability to talk and move my limbs and then passed out when brought on the speed boat.
I was given 100% O2 and after a two hour speedboat and ambulance to Semporna Hospital, I was brought into a decompression chamber for 5 hours. I was revived by then but sadly I couldnt walk. The next day at the hospital I was surprised that the doctor say I will be able to walk in the next few days and since the dive occurred more than 24 hours ago already. I took my scheduled flight back from Tawau to Johor with the help of my friends and once i reached SG, I went straight to SGH.
The doctors there admitted me and gave 100% O2 oxygen again. They said I had a severe DCI. The possibility of me not walking again is high. For the next 7 days I was in SGH and went through 5 days of decompression in the chamber at a total of 24- hours. Recovery was slow but I managed to feel my legs again at the third day. I was discharged on the 8th day and start to train my legs to be normal again. I still have a numbness tingling sensation sometimes in my left knee area which I guess is permanent as I tried TCM and consult a few experts but to no avail. It does not really affect my job and physical fitness (Im a firefighter) so I lived with this till today.
Both the dive company and medical staff of Semporna and SGH Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine handled the situation professionally. My personal hospital insurance settled my near $45000 bill (1 hour in chamber is $900+ in SGH, 1 x admission inside Semporna Hospital chamber is 50RM) On top of that I claimed daily hospitalisation benefits from my personal travel/accident insurance (MSIG Plan A which covers scuba diving up to 30m depth) The company could have also paid for the bill since they cover diving too if my hospital insurance didn't cover it.
The moral of the story is actually you can get DCI without any sign or symptom. The dive currents were bad and the dive doctor at SGH said that I was diving in a yo-yo profile (up and down, changing depths frequently) I was the fittest in the group, everyone was diving the same way due to bad currents for the past few days but I was the only one who got it. The only signs I got was multiple yawns during lunch before the 11th dive which I got the DCI.
I am still diving though, and went for my first dive after recovery in the great barrier reef last year December but I restrict myself to only two dives per day and nothing happened to me. I bought a dive watch which would alarm me if I ascend too quick and made sure I know where's the nearest chamber in the country Im diving.
Thanks for reading, dive safe