health

At 20, Emma became a paraplegic. But she found something that helped her walk again.

Emma Carey, 23, started blogging about her recovery after becoming paralysed in a skydiving accident in Switzerland.

She was backpacking around Europe with her best friend in 2013 when it happened.

Problems deploying the parachute led Emma to land hard on her front with the instructor on her back.

The fall crushed her spinal cord and made Emma a paraplegic.

She spent three weeks in a Swiss hospital and underwent two surgeries before being flown back to Australia, only to spend three more months in a spinal unit.

It was during her time in hospital that she sought solace on social media. She trawled the web for anything or anyone to relate to, but found nothing.

“I just remember thinking when I was in the hospital that I would feel so much calmer and it would be so much more helpful to me if there was just something out there like that,” she said.

So Emma started blogging.

She started writing about all the things she had wanted to read herself when she was in hospital.

The huge support she gained pushed her to recover and she soon regained her ability to walk.

Regularly interacting with her followers also helped her to overcome her anxiety.

“Since I started blogginh, people would come up to me on the street and say “Hi Emma!” and I have no problem talking to them at all. Whereas, a few years ago, that would have completely freaked me out,” she said.

Real talk. So tomorrow morning I’m off on an adventure to Byron and I am SOO excited. If I’m being honest though, I am also so so so nervous. I’ve never spoken about this before on instagram but I have really bad social anxiety. The trip tomorrow is with a massive group of people I’ve never met so I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. From my snapchats it probably seems like I’m really bubbly and outgoing and that’s exactly how I am in real life, but only when I’m around people I’m familiar with. Around strangers and big groups of people, I completely shut down and it makes me feel so sick. A year ago I would have never even imagined saying yes to something like this because my anxiety would have got the better of me. I have turned down so many amazing opportunities because of anxiety, which annoys me so much because I feel lucky beyond words to even be invited to things like this. As I said the other day though ‘if you can, you must’, so I took my own advice and threw myself in before I even had the chance to think about saying no. It probably doesn’t sound like a big deal at all, but to me it’s massive. I always like to end my rants with something insightful or helpful but I don’t really know what the message is here… I guess just to show you guys that I’m a human with human emotions like everybody else, and just like everybody else I’m still learning how to deal with them.

A photo posted by EMMA CAREY (@em_carey) on

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After the accident, Emma’s perspective on life changed for the best.

She embraces every adventure, and recently returned to Europe to complete the trip she couldn’t finish.

She continues to capture her journeys and share her GoPro snaps with the community that helped save her. In turn, some of the readers in that social network would have been saved too.

Watch this video for tips on using a GoPro:

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