First I felt little drops of water, they moved in slow motion like an omniscient warning, spray hit my backside. I was on flat water, so where was the spray coming from? Then I saw the water droplets launch in from behind me into the direction I was moving, getting ahead of me. That is when my alarm sounded intuitively, something is wrong here.  

Before I could turn to look at what was creating this rush of spray, my body exploded, rocked with intense pain near my spine. I was pushed forward from the impact onto my stand up where my hands were still gripped on the gunwale fiberglass side. The pain started in my back and coursed down my left shoulder, arm and fingers. I instinctively let out a scream; one I couldn't hold down it was an extension of the explosion, a complimentary verbal outburst.

I saw the familiar white hull of another ski run onto my hand with rider in tow, bounce off my body and continue on its way after the rider adjusted themselves. I was fighting for consciousness. I looked up at the shore and saw the expression on people's faces as they rose out (cont.)




of their chairs, a mob was descending on me with horrified looks and screams. I fell back into the water to escape the mob.

I thought my fingers had been severed. I couldn't feel them or lift my arm.   A friend came to support me in the water, I asked him if my fingers were still there, he felt my gloved hand and said 'yes, they're there'. I felt a lot better knowing that.

I had a 3 ½ degree separation on my left clavicle, torn tendons, ligaments and musculature from my back, spine, shoulder and arm, broken ribs, a concussion, nerve damage, and my left knee had a torn tendon. I had been folded over my ski and crushed, it only lasted a second, but it took me over a year to heal. In the emergency room, my new wetsuit was cut off my body, leaving me in a bathing suit, cold and in pain. When I was released I left just like that, exposed and barefoot, crying.   That night I realized I couldn't go to the bathroom alone, or wash my hair. I broke down when I couldn't pull my underwear up; I had become essentially dependent on others to take care of me for the first time in my adult life. (Cont.)