Emma Mickle was chosen to represent SpinalCure as part of our inaugural Community Ambassadors program. She was chosen because of her proactiveness in the community, her willingness to speak about her injury and her desire to help others who have suffered from an SCI.
With a professional background as a paramedic with Ambulance Victoria, she has a special interest in how spinal cord injuries are treated by first responders. And she is a powerhouse fundraiser raising more than $10,000 in the first few weeks of launching her GoFundMe page.
Emma’s personal experience with SCIs occurred in January 2020. She and some friends were hiking in New Zealand when a tree branch fell on her, leaving her with 20 broken bones – skull, jaw, clavicle, humerus, six ribs, wrist, hand and ankle – as well as 3 broken vertebrae. Unfortunately, one of those vertebrae had completely burst, causing pieces of bone to impact her spinal cord. The first four days after the injury included multiple emergency surgeries, a lot of Ketamine induced hallucinations and one beautiful ICU proposal (she said yes!).
After 2 weeks, she was stable enough to fly home to the Austin Hospital Spinal Unit in Melbourne. She then spent three months in the Royal Talbot Spinal Rehab. (You can read more about her story here)
Come December 2020, she plans to jump back on her bike and ride from her house in Cockatoo, Victoria, to Canberra via the hilliest route to raise even more money for SpinalCure. Almost 1000 km and over 12,000 m of elevation will certainly prove a challenge.
“Just like you SpinalCure, I’d love nothing more than to see a world with empty wheelchairs and see my mates from rehab, Greg, Ben and Simon get back to farming, horse cart racing and climbing phone towers – maybe Simon can have a new hobby though!”