Once a champion cross-country skier, Janine’s life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck while training for the winter Olympics. Doctors expected that she would not survive her extensive injuries but her fighting spirit saw her not only survive but learn to fly, gain her pilots license, become an aerobatics instructor, attain a University degree, raise three children, and author a best-selling book that was subsequently made into a feature length film.
“It is my pleasure to have been asked to present a keynote speech at this year's APAC Forum, in my home town, from a healthcare consumer perspective,” says Janine.
“As a spinal patient and partial paraplegic, I have a unique understanding on injury, trauma and living with a disability. The massive accident that qualifies me to give this talk, left me questioning who I was and whether I wanted to return to a broken body. My neck and back were broken in six places, and my right arm, collarbone and five ribs were fractured. My right leg had been ripped open, I had sustained head injuries, and extensive internal injuries. I had severe lacerations to my abdomen and lost five litres of blood. I wasn't expected to survive, much less walk again.
“Throughout my journey I have witnessed the teamwork that goes into supporting a successful recovery. My team included everyone from the surgeons who operated on me, to the nursing staff who cared for me, and of course my family.
“I'll tell you about the immense struggle I went through and what it took to find the courage to embrace change. In the six months that I spent in the spinal ward I experienced moments of incredible depth, authenticity and connection. It's important to me that you, and your colleagues, see how your role in caring for patients can literally change a life. Please join me at Ko Awatea's APAC Forum 2016 where I will share my personal experiences with you and, hopefully, encourage you to reach beyond your preconceived ideas of what is possible.”
The APAC Forum 2016 will convene in Sydney, 12–14 September. For more information please visit http://koawatea.co.nz/apac-forum/.