A young Aussie has recalled the gut-wrenching moment she realized she only had ’10 seconds left to live’ during a freak skydiving accident.
Emma Carey, now 29, almost died in 2013 when her parachute tangled and then strangled her skydiving instructor, causing them to fall 14,000ft out of the sky.
It was only the fifth day of her three-month-long overseas adventure when she decided to skydive in Switzerland alongside her best friend Jemma Mrdak.
The adrenalin junkie realized something was seriously wrong when she spotted her parachute flapping in front of her, rather than in the air above.
When her instructor finally deployed their parachute, it had become tangled with the strings of the safety chute and choked him, causing him to pass out.
‘I remember thinking, ‘oh my god, Jemma’s going to have to find me on the ground,’ Carey told A Current Affair.
‘I remember thinking about my family and the main thing I remember feeling is just kind of regret for not embracing my life fully up until that point.’
She took the brunt of the fall, landing facedown with the instructor on top of her.
Carey tried to roll him off her and quickly became distraught when she realized she couldn’t feel anything from the waist down.
‘The first thing I saw was just her lying on her stomach, blood all over her face, crying, in hysterics, screaming that she couldn’t feel her legs,’ Mrdak said.
Carey has remained positive throughout the ordeal and now looks at the terrifying moment she felt sure she was going to die as a ‘rebirth’
Carey was rushed to hospital where surgeons operated on her back and pelvis. Her spine was broken in two places rendering her a paraplegic.
After recovering from surgery, she was reunited with her family and friends in Australia where she started rehabilitation efforts.
Miraculously, she slowly but surely began to get the feeling back in her legs and eventually learned to walk, albeit with a small limp.
She now refers to herself as a ‘walking paraplegic’ – a term used to describe those who were diagnosed a paraplegic but were later able to walk.
In 2018, she tore a ligament in her knee as she was standing up – before finding out she also had a tumor in the region that needed to be removed.
However, Carey has remained positive throughout the ordeal and now looks at the terrifying moment she felt sure she was going to die as a ‘rebirth’.
‘I know how it feels. To think I only have 10 seconds left to live and now I get the rest of my life, whatever that is, so I think it’s actually really nice for me to have that memory because it helps to keep me grateful,’ she said.
‘Life really changed from that moment on and I also feel like every day from that date is just extra time that I get to live, so I should celebrate that.’
Carey even made her catwalk debut in May when she walked the runway at Australian Fashion Week wearing a matching blue bralette and underwear.
She said her walk in the Adaptive Fashion show at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, was a ‘beautiful and important step in the right direction’ for the industry.
‘What a wild, unexpected, scary, and absolute honor of an experience,’ she said at the time.
‘Fashion for people with disabilities is more than just hospital gowns and medical model clothing – it can be fun and expressive while also being accessible and inclusive. Australia’s first ever adaptive runway showed just that.’
The ‘walking paraplegic’ has also penned her own novel titled ‘The Girl Who Fell from the Sky’ which details the day her life was changed forever.
On Monday, Carey celebrated exactly nine years since she left hospital after living in a spinal ward for months.
‘Little did she know nine years later, she’d be here. A day away from releasing her first book,’ she wrote to Instagram.