Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault which may be distressing for some readers.
1. Lyn Parent’s impulsive decision to get a tattoo left her with an HIV diagnosis and only six months to live.
It was July 1992 when Lyn Parent made an impulsive decision that would change her life forever: while accompanying her little sister to get a tattoo, Lyn decided she would get one of her own, a butterfly on her bikini line.
As the eldest, she told her sister she would go first, eager to calm her sibling's nerves.
"I remember noticing that a guy before me had had a tattoo and the artist hadn't changed the needles. But I didn't think anything of it. We didn't in those days, I wasn't worried," Lyn told Daily Mail Australia this week.
"In fact, I told my sister I would go first as I was the eldest. He changed the needle after he inked me."
She didn't give her new tattoo a second thought, returning to France, where she was working as a tour guide at the time. Eight weeks later, she developed flu-like symptoms.
"I had a yellow face, I couldn't eat and I needed to sleep nearly all the time," Lyn said.
"I knew I needed to go to the doctor, and when they told me my temperature was extremely high, I returned home where specialists ran lots of tests to see whether I had malaria."
Ten days and more tests later, Lyn was handed a devastating diagnosis: she had HIV and doctors predicted she had just six months left to live. After running tests on three of her ex-boyfriends, Lyn was then told she had contracted the disease from her tattoo.
"I remember being shocked. I had no idea that was possible," she told Daily Mail Australia.
Lyn was determined to "live every day like it was her last", moving to Rotorua with her now ex-partner. Despite her initial prognosis, more than 20 years later, she is still alive.