A 25-year-old woman who suffered traumatic injuries following a horrific skydiving incident in Switzerland says she’s ready to “go back to the exact place" she had her accident.
Emma Carey, from Queensland, Australia, revealed on Instagram that she’s already purchased an airplane ticket for a second chance at a European vacation, just five years after a failed skydive in 2013 left her unable to walk.
Carey, then 20, had organized the tandem skydive with a professional during a three-month European excursion. When it was time to pull the cord to deploy the parachute, the professional reportedly waited a little too long and the parachute deployed at the same time as the emergency chute, causing both to become entangled, News.com.au previously reported.
The chutes got wrapped around the instructor’s neck, causing him to pass out while he and Carey hurtled toward the ground.
Carey slammed into the earth stomach-first — the instructor landing on her back, still unconscious — and broke her jaw, pelvis, back and spine. Doctors told her she would never walk again.
But Carey eventually defied the odds and, after spending four months in the hospital, began to take her first steps. Upon returning home, she continued her recovery, despite finding that some of her friends had moved on and abandoned her, and she could no longer work.
“I couldn’t work anymore, my relationship was gone, my family was completely different and it genuinely felt like my identity was taken from me. The life I came home to resembled absolutely nothing of the life I left,” she explained on Instagram over the weekend.
But now, after regaining the use of her legs, Carey is ready to travel back to the site of the life-changing incident, for better or for worse.
“[I] haven’t been back since, so I have no idea how it’s going to make me feel,” she wrote, explaining that it’s something she feels she needs to do.
“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. 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,” she wrote.
Carey still suffers lasting effects from the accident, including bladder and bowel incontinence, a condition caused by her broken spinal cord.
“I think because I can walk, people tend to think I have completely recovered from my spinal cord injury but the truth is I still have many lasting effects, one of them being that I am completely incontinent with both my bladder and bowels,” she explained in an Instagram post.
Carey added that she was at first embarrassed by the condition, but eventually decided that she would not let it change her plans, and now tells people about it “within 10 minutes” of meeting them. She even shared a picture of herself, after urinating on herself, with her followers this May.
Carey has not revealed the exact date of her Switzerland visit, but assured followers that, while traveling doesn’t come “easy” for her anymore, she was “100 percent” excited for the next step in her journey,
“New memories here I come,” she concluded her post.