EDITORIAL: Cyclist left home 47 days ago and hasn't returned

THEY are parts of the body we use every single day and every single day, the majority of us take them for granted.

I'm talking about those things that get you from point A to point B - legs.

Some of us enjoy using them to play team sports, others prefer sole sports like cycling, running or hiking.

But imagine heading out on a sunny Saturday or Sunday to enjoy a ride with friends and not be able to return home for months.

This has happened to an old school buddy of mine.

She went cycling 47 days ago and she has yet to be able to stand up again.

The very active triathlete is now lying flat on her back in a hospital in Canberra, bored.

While she is surrounded by very supportive friends who are visiting her regularly, the lack of freedom to be able to see her friends and family when she wants would be hard to bare.

Her social media accounts depicts someone who is not letting her injuries depress her, but the frustration of being stuck in bed all day, every day, must be driving her crazy.

At first, her friends gave her new pjs every day and she would post selfies on Instagram or Facebook. Then, she started little watercolour paintings of fruit to keep herself amused. And then the urge to online shop to kill the boredom got too much.

For someone like me - someone who loves to read, write, draw, paint, etc - I doubt I'd be anywhere near her frustration levels at this stage of the recovery.

Watching her social media accounts for the past two months has led me to appreciate my fully abled body more so (which means I am taking up every opportunity I can to be active outdoors) and a new appreciation for my buddy's character - determined to walk again, determined not to let her current circumstances bring her spirit down.

And I'm not the only one who is admiring her strength. One of her friends has decided to take a cold plunge in honour of her friend and raise funds for The Amy Gillet Foundation and the Neurological Research Foundation.

"In the coming months and on the day that Ingrid takes her first painful steps towards walking again I have promised Ingrid I will run into the icy cold wintery waters of South Australia at Glenelg Beach wearing bathers and lipstick only.

"Why? Because this icy cold pain from freezing cold water is nothing when compared to the road to recovery of a spinal injury patient. Nothing. And this is only the beginning of the recovery. Long term care and recovery is many months ahead.

"Help make a difference to those suffering in similar situations by donating."

Click here to donate: The Amy Gillet Foundation

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