For active teenager Jodie, the 15th of November 2020 will be a date she won't forget.
“I live in Feilding in the Manawatu, and I had a terrible accident that day while racing my motorbike at the Whanganui motocross track,” says Jodie.
“The terrain was a dirt motocross track, and we were having an awesome day of racing when I collided with another bike in the air. I lost control of my bike and hit a fence,” says Jodie of her accident.
“The first thing I can remember after the accident was everyone at the track rushing over to me, telling me not to move. I reached down, my legs were numb, I couldn’t feel a thing... 'I can’t feel my legs' was the first thing I said. I was terrified.
“I remember the feeling of my body going into shock, I felt frightened and was so confused as to what had just happened, I just didn’t know what to do,” Jodie says of the scary situation she found herself in.
“I don't remember much after the accident, but I do remember hearing the sound of the rescue helicopter coming in.”
Trackside paramedics quickly called emergency services, and due to Jodie’s location and severity of injuries, the Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched and soon landed at the track. The rescue helicopter crew carefully assessed Jodie’s injuries and with great skill and care stabilised her for the time-critical flight to Waikato Hospital for emergency surgery.
Jodie had shattered her entire c7 vertebrae in her neck.
Thankfully Jodie’s dad was there and able to fly with her to hospital. In extreme pain, the rescue helicopter crew did everything they could to keep Jodie comfortable, ensuring no further injury.
“I was scared, but I felt relieved to know that I was in good hands with the rescue helicopter crew.
“I was flown from Whanganui motocross track to Waikato Hospital where my surgery took place, then flown straight to Starship Children’s Hospital where I spent 2 weeks. I then went on to the Wilson Centre in Auckland where I began my long rehab journey,” said Jodie.
“My recovery has been far too successful, and luck is the only reason I'm standing here today. After a few weeks, I started to gain feeling back into my legs and I re-learnt to walk again.
“I've spent months doing physio and I still attend it now, but if you looked at me today you wouldn’t even know I’d had such a terrible accident.
“This experience has changed the way I look at my life, as I was so close to never being able to live life again. It's made me appreciate life more than anything.
“I will never forget the people who helped me that day. From the track paramedics who called for help, to the rescue helicopter crew who transported me safely to the hospital. I am forever grateful to them.
“I would encourage people to donate regularly to the rescue helicopter because you never know when you might need them, and helping them means that one day if you ever need help it will be there, and it could be the one to save you!
“I would like the rescue helicopter crew to know that I am incredibly grateful for the help they gave me that day, I truly wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” says Jodie.