No bride plans to spend her wedding night in hospital.
No bride plans to spend her wedding night in hospital. But that is where Jo Rasche landed after her wedding ceremony, fearing she may never walk again.
Last New Year's Eve, in a post-ceremony cool down on the 43C day, new husband John Rasche was towing her and a friend in a tube behind a boat on the River Murray at Waikerie.
"All I wanted to do was get married and not draw attention to myself," she said.
But before the couple had even cut the cake, Mrs Rasche was flung from the tube while travelling at about 95km/h and knocked unconscious. She was rushed to the local hospital with serious neck injuries before a flight to Adelaide with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Recently the Freeling couple said thank you to RFDS flight nurse Michael Penno, pilot Craig Milner and MedSTAR retrieval co-ordinator Dr Bill Griggs, who came to her aid.
"It's quite rare that we get to see people who we've treated," Mr Penno said. And for Mrs Rasche, 45, yesterday's meeting was more pleasant than their previous encounter.
"We were going faster than I have ever been in a tube," she said. "I was thinking we are going to get killed. Then the next thing I remember is that I had been unconscious under the water."
She was unable to move and in so much pain that passengers in the boat used a kneeboard to lift her into the boat.
"It wasn't quite the way we had expected our wedding night to turn out," Mr Rasche said. "It was a bit scary when she couldn't move."
Mrs Rasche's ligaments were torn, dislodging spinal discs in her neck, with seven minor discs bulging from the neck to the lower spine.
In August, a vertebra in her neck and the discs above and below the vertebra were removed.
Mrs Rasche managed to walk again within four days and returned home on January 9.
"The doctors said I was a miracle," she said. "When I came out of hospital we were joking that we finally got married, then John tried to kill me."
To celebrate their first anniversary and put 2012 behind them, the couple will spend the night at Waikerie with friends and family. "I think this time I will be sitting on the banks, enjoying the view and having the drinks I didn't have last year," Mrs Rasche said.
Jo Rasche thanks flight nurse Michael Penno and RFDS pilot Craig Milner
Story courtesy of adelaidenow