Wednesday, April 18, 2012

18th April, 2011

Today a year ago, I was lying unconscious in a Mercy Hospital operating theatre at the hands of Dr John Dunbar, about to undergo a knee osteotomy to realign my left patella. It's not often I remember what I do on certain dates, but this day I will never forget.

At the time it was the most painful, uncomfortable and horrible experience I had ever had. I spent every minute of that time wishing so hard to be able to walk, ride my bike, or even write an exam.  I hated everything about the situation.  What I hated the most was the transformation from racing around the country at Nationals to not even being able to walk - it was really difficult for me to accept the fall from grace.

Today I reflected on everything that has happened since that day last year. What I didn't know at the time, was how that one experience would set me on a path I had never even thought was possible.

Sometime after the surgery, I decided to turn my thinking around. I decided not to hate the situation, and instead treat it as an opportunity, to see what I could learn from it. I began learning about the procedure, studying surgical text books and asking John endless questions about what he actually did. I was trying to figure out how I could get back on my bike as fast as possible, but in doing so I become really interested in the Medicine itself.

Fast forward six months since the surgery and I had fractured my clavicle in a road crash, sustained a concussion and attended to various friends in mountain bike accidents. Hospitals, ambulances and injuries were popping up everywhere; I was no longer afraid of needles and spent more of my time learning Physiology instead of Macroeconomics...

It finally occurred to me that all of these situations and experiences were occurring at a remarkable rate, as if something was trying to direct me towards the Medical field. It was in November when I discovered an opportunity to join Wellington Free Ambulance as a Volunteer. It was something I knew nothing about; I didn’t think it was possible I’d get through.  Quite frankly it scared me, and that’s why I went for it.

Reflecting on this past year, I’m so glad to have finally discovered my passion. Without that experience in surgery, fracturing my collarbone, fracturing my wrist, sustaining 3 concussions in one year and attending two mountain bike crashes, I don’t know I would have gone down this path, but I’m so glad I did. 

Next week I’m catching up with John to discuss whether I should study Paramedicine or try for Medical School…. Who would have thought?


  1. Poor old sausage! But glad that all these bad things have led to something good. And all that recovery time gave you plenty of Grey's Anatomy watching opportunities too! =D

  2. It's very brave and terribly clever to examine your life in such a way as to turn personal disaster into personal success. Good work, Emma, and best of luck.