My youngest son & I drove from Christchurch to do the Rakaia Gorge walk on 31 March 2024

The walk reminded me of the beautiful Able Tasman bush / scenery but with some very narrow paths.

We got 5km in & decided to head back.

About 10 mins into the walk back, I stepped over a stone, my foot slipped, my ankle flicked inwards & I heard a loud crack – my ankle snapped like a twig.

I screamed a couple of times & thankfully people who were also walking the track, came back to help.

One guy had to climb up the hill to call for help as we had no reception. I was really quite worried about how I was going to get out of there because the path was narrow, slippery & rocky back to the carpark (not to mention still about 4.5km away) & there was no way I could move my foot – the pain was excruciating.

Then the amazing Westpac helicopter team arrived, gave me some pain relief (jab in the ass + green whistle).

One of the rescue team (a caring woman whom I would love to give a big thank you hug) stayed with me while they flew Brennyn Flavell & the gear to nearby farmland to empty out the helicopter & drop Brennyn off.

They said they had to do that because the weight makes it difficult to hover when picking patients up. In the meantime I was put into a harness & the awesome people who stayed to help, had to carry me a few meters to a clearing.

Then the helicopter came back & we were winched up into it (that part was very cool!), flew back to the paddock to pick up our gear and Brennyn, then flown to hospital for an x-ray.

The doctor confirmed that I’ve broken my ankle in 3 places & need surgery.

I cannot thank you enough Westpac Helicopter Rescue! I would hate to imagine where I would be without you. Forever grateful