A 25-year-old woman who suffered a horrific skydiving injury which left her incontinent is going back to the place where the accident occurred.
In 2013, Gold Coast resident Emma Carey bought a one-way ticket to Europe to fulfil her lifelong dream of skydiving over the Swiss Alps, but suffered spinal injuries in a horrendous accident.
However, after years of rehabilitation, Ms Carey has decided to return to the exact same place where the accident happened to form new memories.
“[A]fter 5 whole years I’m going back to Europe, back to Switzerland and back to the exact place I had my accident. I’ve haven’t been back since, so I have no idea how it’s going to make me feel,” she posted to Instagram account on Sunday.
Ms Carey was only 20 years old when she arrived in Switzerland only five days into her 2013 European journey, ready to skydive over the Swiss Alps.
As she leapt out of the helicopter, she felt a sense of exhilaration but quickly realised that something was wrong.
The young woman told Yahoo7 the parachute chords were strangling the instructor, who was then rendered unconscious for the remainder of the fall.
Ms Carey plummeted down onto a grass field on her stomach. The instructor and his full weight landed on top of her.
“I just presumed that he was dead. He was floppy and wasn’t answering,” she recalled.
She was unable to get up, as she had sustained a serious spinal cord injury, breaking her back at her L1 vertebrae.
Told she had incomplete paraplegia, Ms Carey spent one month in a Swiss hospital and three months in a spinal unit in Australia.
She was told by doctors in both countries that she would probably never walk again.
However, after four months of recovery, she started to take her first steps. While she is now able to walk, she cannot run, jump or walk for too long and is completely incontinent in her bladder and bowels.
While she is nervous about returning to Europe, Ms Carey has decided to reclaim her memories and finally experience the fun adventure she set out to have in 2013.
“The thought of going back to Europe makes me feel sick. It’s like everything in my body is screaming at me to not go back there, to the place where it got so hurt,” she wrote on Instagram.
“But everything else is me is begging me to go, to create new memories, to stop thinking about it so much and to finally enjoy a European summer for what it should have always been… fun,” Ms Carey said.
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Ms Carey has become a disability advocate since her accident, raising awareness about incontinence and spinal injuries.
She remains positive in spite of her health condition and is grateful for the life which she has rebuilt.
“I am SO in love with the new life I’ve created here. My job, my friends, my home, my body I’ve worked so hard to heal, my happiness,” Ms Carey wrote.