You just never know when you’re going to need support from a helicopter.
Wendy was preparing for a camel trek in Central Australia when she had the accident. Her training regime was strict, and this particular day she and two girlfriends had decided to walk the Mills track on Mount Wellington. Despite it being mid-Summer there was mist down at the Springs where they started their walk, and they discussed their safety before they went out, not wanting anyone to slip and break a leg.
Little did Wendy know this is exactly what would happen.
Wendy explains. “I slipped on a root, and it was like falling on ice. I knew instantly I’d broken something because I felt everything collapse in the wrong ways.” It was later discovered that Wendy had a Trimalleolar fracture in her ankle, which dislocated, leaving her in such excruciating pain that she went into shock and later passed out.
After some dramas with one phone battery going flat, one phone left back in the car, and discovering that Wendy had brought her husband’s phone by mistake, one of her girlfriends managed to get through to Emergency Services and explain exactly where they were. An ambulance was quickly dispatched from Hobart, but the crew weren’t allowed to go off-road, and had to stop at the Springs. Emergency Services eventually called Wendy back and explained they’d be sending in the helicopter.
The experience of being in such pain and being stuck in the cold and the mud brought back to Wendy a keen sense of understanding of what it must have been like during war conditions, and how lucky she was to be rescued. She says, “A couple of years ago we went to the Western Front where my uncle died. All I could think of (when I was lying there) was how hard it must be to lay somewhere in the cold and went and know that you’re not going to be helped and not going to get any pain relief. That’s what went through my head”.
“If the helicopter hadn’t been there to rescue me they would have had to bring in two teams of search and rescue people, on a public holiday, I would been waiting a whole lot whole lot longer, and left in pain for many hours longer.”
“I don’t know how I would have coped if I’d had to wait any longer for pain relief”
“You just never know when you’re going to need support from a helicopter…it can happen close to town.”