Jordan Robertson calls her fall at school camp a blessing in disguise, and for good reason.
Jordan, a student at Avondale College, was on camp at Kawakawa Bay and while she was playing a game with classmates, she slipped and fell. Picking herself up Jordan realised something wasn’t right. “I’d had hip problems for awhile,” said Jordan, “but it was diagnosed as a sporting injury and nothing serious”.
When she moved out of the way of other players to sit on a bench, her leg gave out and excruciating pain flooded in. It was clear to Jordan and her teacher that she needed medical attention.
As Kawakawa Bay is remote in location, and accessible only by hiking and mountain biking tracks or by water, the only realistic way out was by helicopter. Due to turning weather “the water taxi couldn’t come to me, and the other two options facing us were a two-hour mountain bike ride back to Kinloch or an hour and a half in a kayak to the other side of the lake. If it wasn’t for the rescue helicopter my situation would have been extremely difficult.”
The Greenlea Rescue Helicopter was dispatched and pilot Nat Every flew into a small opening at the edge of the lake but was unable to land. “Waves were crashing on the beach and lake levels were quite high,” said Nat. “In the rapidly declining weather the decision was made to use a 20ft hoist to lift Jordan out and fly her safely back to Taupo Airport and onward to Taupo Hospital.”
Doctors treating Jordan suspected there was more to her injury than originally thought, and she was referred for a CT scan and a MRI. Unbelievably, doctors discovered a tumour that had been eating away at her hip for a few months. “The fall was a blessing in disguise, otherwise we wouldn’t have known,” Jordan admits.
Luckily the tumour was benign and the doctors were able to successfully remove it. “They also had to reattach the tendon in my leg because it has almost ripped off. If it had ripped completely I wouldn’t have been able to walk again,” said a relieved Jordan.
Finally, after months of therapy and the all clear from doctors Jordan has been able to get back to a full and active life. “I had to re-teach myself how to walk. We take walking for granted every single day – and then it’s taken away. What a huge realisation. This has given me a better appreciation of everything.”