It was late summer 2013 when I dived off my surfboard without my hands up. It was something I always did. But I hit a sandbar and broke my neck. It was six days after the birth of our daughter Ziggy, a sister for three year old Lola.
I heard the crunch. I was face down in the water. I tried to push myself up but my arms and legs wouldn’t work. I was strangely calm and knew nothing would ever be the same. In that moment I decided that if the worse came to the worst I’d breathe in water. I’d heard it was a better way to go but for some reason I didn't think that would happen.
I’d been at the beach with a Spanish friend, Miguel, and Lola. We were taking him for a surf while we waited for a paraglide off the Mount. I'd sworn to my partner Gemma that I'd just show him a good time for a couple of days then I'd be by her side looking after her and our new bub.
Now I was helpless, facedown, holding my breath. In my head I was calling out “Look up Miguel, look up Miguel". Then I felt myself being turned over. I could see the sky, I could breathe and I wasn't dead. Miguel cradled my head in his elbows with his hands under my armpits and pulled me gently through the water toward the beach. Other people had stopped to help and they put me on my surfboard and dragged me up the beach. Someone called an ambulance. I could hear Lola crying out for me in the background...
An excerpt from Made Beautiful By Scars -real women's stories
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