I was attending an organised trail ride with friends on my birthday in May. One the first lap I entered into a steep descent enduro section. Halfway down I misjudged and rode over a small bluff. This caused me the fall forwards over the handlebars down the bank.

I landed on my head and tumbled a bit further. I instantly knew it was bad. The pain was the worst I’ve ever felt. Straight away my friend called for the chopper.

I was quickly surrounded by friends and fellow riders who attempted to secure and comfort me on the steep gradient.

The St Johns paramedic arrived after 10 mins and tried to administer the green whistle but the chest injuries stopped me from breathing in.10 mins later we could hear the chopper coming. The female paramedic was winched down to us, put a line in and got me comfortable quickly. Then she made a plan to get me stretchered out. The bank was too steep so they used ropes to get me to a small ledge more suitable to winch from. During this process I was put to sleep and came to as I was getting winched up into the chopper.

From there once reloaded into the cabin it was a short trip to the CHCH Public helipad and in for scans where it showed I had broken T3 & 4 vertebrae. From there I spent 5 days in the spinal unit before being released. Luckily my breaks were stable compression fractures and no sugery was required.

Overall I was very lucky and am making a full recovery. I was wearing all the appropriate gear. My helmet has been crushed from the impact.

I am very grateful for the Air rescue service helping me that day. I wont forget that pain, and the relief of hearing the chopper inbound.

Thank you to everyone involved in this service.