Most of you will know I’m a pretty keen cyclist, but it has only been over the last few months that I have converted to riding a Mountain Bike, which will be my only mode of transport for the 30 days I expect the ride to take.
The reason I want to take part in this tour is not only will it be a fantastic experience, but I want to give back and raise funds for the NZ Spinal Trust.
On 29 September 2018 my son Sam was involved in a very bad car crash. He broke two vertebrae in his neck and dislocated one, putting pressure on and cutting the blood supply to his spinal column. He broke another disc in his back and cracked his pelvis.
The three month journey to get Sam home and back on his feet will be one I, my family, friends and work colleagues will never forget. It was a journey of incredible stress, but at the same time amazing to be able to tick off the many milestones that saw Sam return to walk again – and now be back at work doing an amazing job running Wayne Kirk Mitsubishi Hastings.
It was a long three months as Sam recuperated, but we had light at the end of the tunnel. As Sam made progress each day we realised how lucky we were. There were other families there and young adults – people the same age and younger than Sam – who were not so lucky. It was a stark reminder of what might have been for us.
Thankfully Sam was able to progress from a wheel chair to a walker (we named Big Red), to two crutches then to one crutch, to being able to walk unaided. Some days were better than others – some days the thought of leaving Burwood Spinal Unit seemed so far into the future it wouldn’t happen. It was a super stressful time, but my goodness we had some wonderful and amazing physios and a spinal specialist who were incredible, who helped us along the way.
Because of the unbelievable support of Hawke’s Bay and Christchurch hospital surgeons and the dedicated support of the physios and medical staff at Burwood, it meant Sam’s recovery was much better than anyone expected and Sam has been able to return back to his life, slightly scarred but back to doing what he loves – selling cars!
The NZ Spinal Trust help many people like Sam, many not as lucky as he. Their help and support to families and people with spinal injuries is amazing, which is why I’m hoping to raise a substantial sum of money for them along my tour of Aotearoa.
I’ll be doing lots of daily updates on my Facebook Page along the way and you can track my progress here: https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com?bib=W%20S%20K&justme=yes&showPath=yes&showMarkerHistory=yes
More importantly you can help the NZ Spinal Trust by making a donation to support them so others are able to receive the wonderful care and support they gave Sam and families like us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hopefully you’ll follow my progress. I look forward to giving you all an update of how much money we raised on my return in April.
Flew back home and straight into isolation (never know what we might have picked up along the way). Will be back to finish it (and the wee bit up north I missed)
Heard about the LockDown in Kumara and rode through to Hokitika to stop our trip.
Buoyed by the boys (and a few pills) – a gentle ride to Havelock and coping well.
Gay Monteith @ Focus Health has been an absolute Godsend! I managed to fix me up enough that I could rejoin my group in Wellington, ready for the ferry to Picton.
The brown stuff hit the whirly thing – fell down a bank and dislocated my shoulder. Off to the Whanganui Hospital!
The Timber Trail – we crossed quite a few swing bridges today. Passed by the centre of the North Island.
The Waikato River Trail – an amazing ride
The world-famous Bacon & Egg Roll @ the Pink Shop in Kaiaua was absolutely stunning
Waiting for the ferry @ Pouto
Omapere with Rob and Ed
First steps with Big Red!