An Australian woman has spoken about her recovery after an ill-fated jump off of Wellington’s wharf led to her becoming quadriplegic.
Jane Yuile of Adelaide, who works for ANZ as a Senior Advisor, Institutional, was visiting Wellington with her husband about three years ago for a wedding.
As the pair were sitting on the waterfront with friends, they watched a group of children jumping off the wharf.
“I’m a jetty jumper from years back, so it looked like a lot of fun,” Jane said.
“I distinctly remember watching one little boy - it would get to his turn and he would stand on the edge, but he’d get scared and back away - he did this about five or six times.
“So I approached him and said ‘Listen, I’m 60 - so if I can do it, you probably can too’.”
Jane jumped in herself, but after she hit the water she felt a “terrible pain”.
She managed to swim to the steps and get up to the wharf, but realized something was seriously wrong when she noticed the top of her thumb was numb.
She insisted on going to hospital, and doesn’t remember much from that point.
During her first operation, complications caused Jane’s heart to stop twice.
Doctors were then forced to perform a laminectomy – a relatively common operation where part or all of a vertebra is removed to ease pressure on the spinal cord, or nerve roots.
Unfortunately, following the laminectomy, Jane became a quadriplegic and is now unable to move all four of her limbs.