Old Scars, New Strength: Sandra's Story

To Sandra... the RFDS is life, because they gave hers back.

Sandra speaking with RFDS SA/NT Mental Health Clinician, Hannah Case

Sandy had only recently moved from Adelaide to the remote community in Ti Tree with partner Jeff when she slipped on the back stairs of her home.It could well have been an everyday stumble. 

But this particular fall resulted in serious injuries that Sandy’s doctors later compared to the scene of a car accident.

“I don’t know if I blacked out, but before I knew it, I was at the bottom of the stairs,” Sandy said.“I heard my leg break – the bone was coming through. But I had to let go of that to get to the top of the stairs to my phone.

“I was obviously panicking. I thought I was going to bleed to death.”

Sandy knew she was in for an arduous recovery, but the injury not only unravelled her physical wellbeing – it triggered a cascade of mental health challenges.

“The injury changed my life and made me look at things a lot differently. But it also took me to a terrible place with my mental health,” she said.

“It was like something was happening to me and I didn’t know how to fix it or control it.

“I was told I had post-traumatic stress disorder from the accident – it brought up a lot of horrible memories and things that I’d never thought about. I was having debilitating panic attacks.

Watch the above video for the full story.