“Caroline; you & James SAVED ME aye?!!”
…“ohh.. umm.. yeah”
“THANK YOU! THANK YOU SO MUCH!”
I mean, thinking about it now – I probably could’ve taken a more... subtle approach, because honestly...shit was a little awkward haha! You could feel the shyness... the awkwardness, from both of us.
It was okay though – I just needed her/them to know I was thankful. We hung up from that call & every year since it happened, I’ve never forgotten them.
March 1st, 1999 – the day I committed the ultimate fuck-up! i.didn’t.listen.to.my.mum – BUT, (I believe) in a fucked up way, it’s been a blessing-in-disguise (I do have my reasons, but I’m not ready to share them).
AND! it’s the day two brave teens, I’d grown up knowing, SAVED ME...
IIIII dived into shallow water. No one pushed me.
I underestimated the waters depth.
I thought I could “bomb” like the boys… yet I chose to dive?? Wtf kylie?!
I was the one that didn’t fucking listen when mum told me, NO! --- wellll...this is kinda’ debatable cos, mum said no bridge...I dived off the jetty.next.to.the.bridge...
I even think I could have made a shitty dive. no, no, no! it WAS a shitty dive!! - be real bitch!
I had been floating towards the bridge, at least 10-15M before someone realised, FUCK! something was wrong!
& this is where you can finally be introduced to JAMES!
James is a local from my hometown also known as Donut (sorry, I had too hehe!). A little older than me. We went to the same school. Everyone knows everyone or you’re related haha it's a small town thing!
He was up on the bridge at the time. & lucky for me, he was on the opposite side to everyone else, which happened to be, the side I was floating towards...without any hesitations – James saw me and jumped straight off the top, quickly swam to where I was, grabbed hold of me and rushed me over to the bank...
This is where Caroline comes in…
Caroline, another local from home. Went to the same school. Dabbled in the same horse scenes. Friends with my older cousins.
I don’t actually know where she was situated at the time. What I do know is - She performed CPR on me ;- quick & smart thinking saved my fucking life and I’m FOREVER grateful.
(DISCLAIMER: this is my version of their part, from what I’ve been told. This isn’t from their P.O.V – I’ve actually never asked them... I think I’m too awkward to do that now though haha!)
Acknowledgments’ & an award each, were presented to them – nothing could ever repay them though!
You see, if it wasn’t for these two, the cold-hard truthful fact is – I’d be DEAD. I would have 100% died that day. I’m not even fucking kidding! ...let’s just let that shit sink in for a bit.
James & Caroline are my real-life superheroes!
And every-single-year, March 1st, I remember them. I think of them.
...and, I’m thankful.
I've kept it simple & short for their part, because no words could ever express how grateful I am!
here's a little throwback tribute article xx
Article credit: Thank you to my klones Aunty who works at the Herald, for finding this for me x
so far, we’ve found out that – I dived into shallow water, I'd broken my neck (don’t worry, at this stage I still didn’t know what came with having this injury) and now you’ve just been introduced to my real-life superheroes BUT, it’s time to carry on! Because...
“[Pssssttttt!! Quick interruption – SO sorry about the late post *cough cough ...2 months* ! Legit reasons with a million excuses so there’s no point trying to explain shit. Just know, i am human & im gona’ have “can’t be fucked” moments. HERE NOW – that’s what matters.]”
as I was about to say before the interruption! ...
The next 3 to 4 weeks in hospital, shit gets really fucking real!!
It started with, every 2 – 3 hours a day. I had to have my arms put into, what was being called “airplane wings" position – it's where my arms were placed straight out to the sides of my body, onto thin boards that slid under my bed slats. I had a love/hate relationship with it! But I had no choice.
Those hours endured...painful. always ended up being painful. Again though, I had no choice.
Doctors would come in everyday. I don’t remember any. There was always SO many!
Nurses would tend me regularly. I loved my nurses. i even had a couple of favs
Physio would come for my daily treatment of stretches.
All that could be done to benefit my body, was being done to the best of their abilities, with my limitations!
back in my hometown – my school was doing a coin fundraiser for me. I was so overwhelmed. And from that I was given a Walkman.
At the time those were the “in – things” back then. And I remember specifically asking if my friend Jaedi could be the one to make a mixed sounds TAPE for me! Yes, tape my loves, a CASSETTE TAPE ---do millennials even know what these are??
Britney Spears – hit me baby one more time was the “it" song at the time (or my "it" song Haha) omg! AND it's the only fucking song on the tape that I remember, dammit!
- Brother Michael (he was Deputy Principal at my school back then) would visit me. He came to visit a few times and I'm pretty sure he is the one that brought the Walkman to me hehe.
The music got me through my days.
The last visit from Brother Michael, that I “remember” is, him standing near my bed and we're talking (about what?! Idek!?) AND THEN! I start coughing (which I couldn't actually do due to my injury), so “coughing” soon turned into struggling to breathe...
*& for some reason, I've always had the memory of Brian being there at the same time as well!?? But?? Idk and I don't think he'd remember either. (just thought I'd add this little side note in though) – I was probably delusional though, because HELLO! Struggling to breathe lol
Next thing I knew, the nurses are running in and around. My hospital gown (EW!) was ripped open to make a clear path to my chest ---holy fuck, shit was serious!
...umm gasping for air is quite serious. ha!
it's okay! was just a chest infection lol
FUCK! I need to add this – I was STILL Nil-By-Mouth -_- & the fucking craving for scrambled eggs was UNREAAAAL. I salivated, got angry, felt sad, was annoyed all because I wanted scrambled eggs but I wasn’t allowed to eat :/
Fuck you NBM!!!
I was a little maori girl from the East Coast ---WE LOVE FOOD! Hha!
Days were long.
My Dad though, he was so cute! He would paint my nails – he was so proud of himself and excited cos he bought me a confetti nail polish (Christmas polish, he called it lol). I never had the heart to tell him it was ugly hahahaha! He would also assist with bed turning, changing etc.
I mean, Mum did too, but for my Dad to be doing these kinds of things too?! It was awesome. Weird but so awesome!
And I loved that they were there with me but, at the same time ,
...I felt awful inside. My sisters were so young, and I had just taken our Mum & Dad away from them, and so suddenly too!
I never told anyone. I mean, how could I? there was already enough trauma & shit going on.
I haven't touched on the halo sitcho. in this one. Let me do that real quick.
...it was STILL on -_-
i hated it
it was painful
it was uncomfortable
it was restricted as fuck.
There were nights where I couldn't sleep because of it. i cried. i cried so much. only at night time the most though, because... that's when Mum & Dad would be gone. & it would be just the night nurses and me.
I had been on Morphine for the pain. It was so good! It relaxed me. I could sleep when I was on it. I was only given it for pain though.
But because I noticed the effect it gave me for sleeping; sometimes, I would fake my pain. Yes, yes! I know I should not have done that blah blah blah! - I'm not sorry about it. I was sleep deprived. I was uncomfortable and i was fucking over it! I just wanted to feel relaxed enough to sleep.
i did what was necessary :)
so that's the halo situation.
By the morning, it was time to rock & roll again...
same shit. different day!
i was fucking over it.
But, I must admit -
I had formed an amazing friendship with a nurse (I loved all of my nurses, but this one was special) who became my absolute favourite! I always looked forward to her shifts on with me. She was kind, compassionate, lovely, caring, reliable, took no shit from me haha!
Julie (nurse) was on shift this particular day. I was so excited to see her!
We did our normal routines. Laughed and chit chatted throughout. & I remember looking out my window, through my mirrors (the ones attached to my bed, remember?). Julie asks about home - i loved telling all of those city peoples about the beautiful little paradise I come from.
None of them had ever heard of Tolaga Bay lol.
I told Julie all about it. What it looks like, the beaches, the township, the population at the time, the lifestyle.. fuck! it made me homesick. it made me miss home and everything I knew.
I said to Julie;
"I can't wait to go back there! I miss home so much!
I miss my sisters!
Omg! I can't wait to see my horse JJ!!! I can't wait to ride him again"
At this point Julie is quiet.
& I noticed. me being me, had to question it!
"Why have you gone quiet?"
"I'm going to be able to ride my horse again, right?"
...Sweetie, I can't answer that for you, I'm so sorry.
I can't, Julie says, in a really sad tone.
"Julie, am I ever going to walk again??"....
**You’re 12yrs old.
You’ve woken up in a foreign place. Can’t move or speak. There’s no one around that is familiar. You can only move your eyes. Everything you know and love doesn’t exist here, right now and you don’t know why! You’re so confused.
All you want is your Mum & Dad.
All you’re wondering is – where are they and where are you and what are these/that!!???
**Your child is 12yrs old.
You’ve had to leave her/him in ICU after the most while you and your husband are completely devastated. Still in disbelief. Trying to hold onto some kind of belief for the sake of your child’s life. Worried about your 4 & 5yr old children you’ve had to leave back home, 9hrs away. You can’t stop the tears. Your mind is going fucking insane because the last 24hrs was the worst thing you’ve both endured.
Watching. Seeing. Your kid in a state of life or death…
The pain. The heartbreak. The stress. The worry. The sadness. The fears. EMOTIONS. Every.fucking.EMOTION ---
The cold fucking terrifying reality that you could possibly lose your 12yr old child.
how do you feel RIGHT NOW after digesting all/any of that?!
------------------------------------- That was just the beginning of the emotional rollercoaster for us…
PART 4, ready for the ride??!
I spent a week in ICU before I was ready enough to upgrade.
A LOT happened so fast, so soon! A couple of things I forgot over in part 3 – like, my Nan coming while I was still in my no voice/whispering stage...how could I forget waking up to her wet kisses?? or, asking where my cousin Ashley was and did he come with nan?! (he didn't wana be at the hospital though)
"ready" or "upgrading" was far from appealing to me! Leaving ICU wasn't a choice of mine, I had plans on staying!!
BUT. it didn't work like that…
And so, I was moved. To a different department in the hospital.
not gona lie.
I still couldn’t move.
I was still flat on my back.
& still rocking the halo.
OHH. & GUESS WHAT?!
I found out; I had BROKEN MY NECK. (we'll find out more in part 5)…
The halo wasn't going anywhere, anytime, soon! . Without it, my head/neck would be at high risk of any further damages which would result in, an even worse injury. <<--- we didn't want that, thanks!!
FLASH BACK: - Can we talk about my hair during this shitty time, real quick!? So so tragic hahaha!
There was all kinds of short, thick, and bushy hair – MY HAIR – EVERYWHERE!!! Ew! There was a photo taken as well. hopefully that fucking thing never shows its face. EVER
^ ^ that flashback came from writing this lol random.
i do & have always been particular about this frizz-mop, so i just know, that hair-do would've upset me haha!
Okay, okay! back to the story ---
I had broken my neck and badly bruised my spine. Fucking high-5 to you, Kylie!
But, that’s all I knew. I didn’t understand the extent or severity of my injury. Pretty much just thought, - “ohh yeah, I’m here. I’ll get fixed here” ... I was a kid; wouldn’t you think like I did? Cause I mean ; I was in a hospital – so ya know, automatically “I'm going to be fit as a fiddle", "hospitals fix everything! MAGIC" and ready to go home in no time.... yeaaaah , NAH!!
ANYWAY – One of the things I remember with upgrading/moving to a different ward, is the elevator ride there!
Wooow Kylie! Out of everything, that’s the only thing you have memories of?! and I can still see it now, and as I type this shit out, it's almost as if I'm lying back in that fucking bed.
I couldn’t see shit on the bottom floor - uhh , i think that has a bit to do with the fact that I was still flat on my back.
But, Mum made sure to describe it to me as we went up… “They’ve built a huge Sky Tower building out of lego pieces, the Radio Lollipop Station is just over there (it’s a radio station that would operate throughout the entire hospital, kids of all ages could even call in and request songs or do shout outs'), anddd McDonalds’ is just over there – me & Dad go there lots!”.
YES! It use to have McDonald’s – do you know any other hospital that had that?! (I mean, it’s gone now because, health industry 🤭)
Now, the view from my angle of what I can see as we’re going up in the elevator?
I can see a big giant orange Tigger the tiger in a gliding position coming from the ceiling (no! I hadn't had my morphine hit at that time either! So, I'm not tripping haha), I can see brightness. I love this elevator ride! It’s definitely a hospital for children!
It made me excited and happy, it was like, my initial fears had disappeared.
The elevator ide was short lived though. And before I knew it...
we had reached our new destination (well, the new floor) and hello those fears and nerves reappeared.
Instantly, I decided; "NOPE! don't like it!" - I'm such a fucking Taurus!
& from memory (which BTW is shit), but I feel like the walls were dark blue or maroon? with kiddie patterns or pictures on them?!
I think that's what I saw, as my bed was being maneuvered carefully around corners and people, down hallways etc. (I mean, I know that's not really an important detail, but, it's just another thing I've always "remembered", that's all)
We stopped!!? ...
Then, a slight little turn...
...soooo, this is my new room huh!
It was a lot brighter than my room in ICU. There was also a huge window... that I couldn't see out of – it showed off the beauty of the SkyTower.
Being the country girl that I am, I was actually oblivious to what that even was back then haha!
“Helllooo, Kylie? I’m Zane"... I wasn't rude, I said hello back like a shy little puppy-dog🤭
Zane was a quirky little character; average height, short clean cut hair, glasses and a weak stomach for snot/phlegm. – he was one of my regulars and was a nurse I’d soon form a bond with.
AND this was the start of the next stage to whatever I (& my family) would have to endure.
I don't remember every day of being there, only bits & pieces of the days that I was!
And because I was flat on my back, i couldn't see shit & up and side-to-side with my eyes were my limits...
well, the Therapists came up with the idea to attach mirrors to my bed – adjustable ones too! talk about GENIUS yo!
And, for the next 3 weeks spent in Starship - I was able to see out my window & every night I got to see the Sky tower, it was pretty amazing! Being from a tiny town and seeing that kind of thing - it was magical.
Those mirrors saved my soul <3
OH shit! – while I remember; I was still Nil-By-Mouth!! Wtf, right?! And all I could think about was SCRAMBLED EGGS Haha! AND hash browns, I would obsess over them the whole time!
Food was the least of my worries though, because I mean, reality was, if I ate at that time I probably would have choked to death – not even exaggerating!
I remember getting my first phone call, it was my aunty Paula – now, at the time she lived down Gore street, right next to the park.
There's only one part of that conversation, that I remember SO clearly though...
*Paula gets kids to yell out to Caroline, who happened to be at the park*
“Caroline; you & James SAVED ME, aye?!!"
...But guys, I'm saving their story for part 5..
See you there ;)
“She survived the night! But it wasn’t over yet! In fact, shit had just begun...
And, I know! You guys want answers. But, it's not time yet; - Kylie was still in her coma, Mark & I had limited time to organize ourselves AND our two younger kids, who at the time were only 4 & 5 (Dale & Hope)
Due to the seriousness of Kylie’s injury, Gisborne Hospital did not specialise in whatever she needed. This meant, we were being sent to Auckland, to Star-ship Children’s Hospital.
Unfortunately, that also meant, Mark and I had to leave Dale & Hope back in Tolaga Bay with my sister and her family.
we tell her?
WHEN was it ever
going to be
the right time?”
---BEFORE going any further, go back in the blog to >> PART 1 & >> PART 2. THEN, come back here and carry on! Otherwise the story won’t make sense---
What’s that beeping sound??! It sounds close by! And it needs to piss off because it’s awful and I hate it!
So, there's a beeping sound and now I'm beginning to hear voices?! I can't call out though; - remember, there's a foreign object in my mouth, what is it!? I also can't lift my head to see, actually! I'm not even sure if I can move?! "Maybe they've purposefully made it so I can't move?!"
Right! I do know that,the only things managing to work at the moment, are my eyes...and I don't even know if I'd call them "working" though, but hey! they're open, so that's a start ha!
Now, I can also hear footsteps...
They're getting closer and closer... and suddenly, the peachy colour closed in on me and turned black and a person appear above my face.
"Hi Kylie, I'm Rachel, I'm your nurse"
“You are in ICU, in Star-Ship Children’s Hospital, in Auckland”
...ummm WHAT!?? (btw - "Rachel" is the name I have ALWAYS called this nurse, ever since I could "remember". For all I know, her name could've been Marilyn Munroe and I'd still think it was Rachel haha!) - it's true. - back to the story.
I’m NOT in Gisborne hospital???
Where’s my Mum & Dad?!
Of course, these questions are all in my head because I'm not actually able to speak. **again, foreign object is still in ones’ mouth!
...But, imagine waking up in an unfamiliar place, all alone and you can't even speak - how does this make you feel, right at this very moment?? because, it took me back to my moment of it. It feels heavy rn. if I let myself, I can be right there, in that bed, doing THAT moment, all over again...right now!
but, mehhhh aint nobody got time for that, ha! (keep in mind - I'm TWELVE)
“I know you can't talk right now, but blink once if you can hear me...”
I blink once...
“Gooood”, she says.
“I'll call your parents and let them know you're awake and want to see them, okay?!”
...again, I blink once more, indicating YES, GET THEM!!!
Oh my god! How long have I been asleep for, I wonder!??...
I'm not sure when or how long it took, but they arrived!! and, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of happiness. I couldn't quite express how happy, because I was a bit...busy being…filled with tubes and what not. yaknow’ nothing too major. Ha!
My memory is a little █████blank with in-between █████details, and as I said already; all I could do was blink, BUT, that was more than enough for both Mum and Dad! It was the first REAL show of me being “back”. and, you know what?!
My Dad, he's a funny human, I remember this moment SO vividly! it was one of the first things he said to me, and it’s never left my memory.
Dad leans over and whispers in my ear;
“We need to brush your teeth, your mouth smells like a shithole AND your ass has been farting up a storm!"
...DAD!! REALLY!!? ha ha!
um HELLOOO! There’s a 50ft foreign thing in my mouth for starters AND I was pretty much on deaths' bed and that's the FIRST thing you say to me!!! I feeeeel the love Dad, I really did! ha ha!
“You’ve also been getting visits from Brian and his family too, Ky”
“And, Caroline and James saved you, Ky”, Dad whispered to me…
I was so overwhelmed. Brian, my school buddy! Visiting me even when I wasn’t conscious – he’ll always hold a special place in my heart. And Caroline & James, my forever heroes! (you can’t read about them yet! We gotta get through these boring parts first)
With the teeth-brushing comment, those last two whispers are SO vividly etched into my memory. I’ll never forget.
"We can remove this from your mouth shortly Kylie", says another nurse. - Yaay! because I'm getting sick of this blinking shit! I want my voice back!!!
The only thing I remember from this part was, the tube coming out of my mouth. It felt like a never-ending sausage regurgitating out…I could feel it sliding up through my throat tunnel. I started to wonder when it was actually going to stop!
**side-note: remember, I’m dramatic as fuck! so it was probably short haha**
I still can't talk?! Even though the tube is out?! Talk about ripped off! Ha ha!
Something to do with the length of time it was in there for AND it must’ve slightly scraped somewhere on the way out as well. I believe this because, it felt like a HUGE sausage, I shit you not.
I can’t remember how long it took before I found my voice again though?!
What I do remember, is being really thirsty and asking for a drink but the nurse told me I wasn’t allowed.
I didn’t understand why I couldn’t?? why was I being deprived of liquid!!? Instead, I was given an ice cube to suck on. A fucking ice-cube?! Are you serious!? Umm. does she even know I'm Maori?? & we LOVE our food & drink?! haha
BUT, due to swallowing and filling THREE QUARTERS of my lungs with water – which by the way, was river/ocean water; it meant, I wasn't allowed to drink any liquid or even consume solid food.
My lungs weren't drowned with sea water, however! I did drown them with river water, which somehow saved me or was better than the sea water? or something. ha!
Whichever way it went, I’m one lucky girl!!! That shit could’ve killed me. I know I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, but shiiiitttttt…really. And, I swear something, or someone was on my team that day because... the way the tide was going, it had floated me towards the bridge rather than out towards the river - mouth which was the opening to the ocean!
Photo credit: Louisa Cole (My Cuz xx)
Food was the same, I wasn’t allowed to eat. I was made NBM - yup, good ole’ Nil-By-Mouth. I was still being fed, don’t worry! It was just in the form of a certain thick shake going through tubes. I remember the choice of flavours - vanilla, banana or strawberry…I feel like lime was a choice too, but I’m not 100% sure.
And, the tube they inserted the shake into was the one, in my nose. I felt a slight coldness in the tube every time it was shake time.
Pain wise; I didn’t have much. But I was on a cocktail of meds – which is where the tube in my chest came into play. My “Central line” is where all meds were inserted. Morphine became my regular “go-to” relief.
Oh AND just for an overshare cos that’s what I do 😊 – the vag tube I mentioned… yeah, that had a purpose too -_- , it was so I could pee. Catheter is its’ identity… interesting.
Beeping sounds, tubes galore, Nurses, Doctors, poking & prodding - day in, day out!
This went on for a bloody week! I WAS OVER IT!!! I didn't realize it was that long! Time fly’s when you’re lying on your back and you can only look up or side to side with your eyeballs.
I don't remember leaving the ICU unit either... It kind of feels like I went like, █████ blank █████ again...
This is where I love & leave you all for now 😉
PART 4: MONDAY (hopefully) – Writing these, I’m finding as I go further & further, it’s actually really draining because, 1) I’m having to remember & think hard about the events that took place. 2) I’m re-writing the parts a few times before publishing cos, maaan! Shits crazy lol and it’s a trippy feeling, kinda’ re-living these moments. So pleaseeee bare-with me if I’m not always on time with these XX
I know, I know! We still don’t know what happened to me, right? RIGHT.
so many questions??! Who told mum?? Who, what, where, how, why?! BUT. before you carry on! make sure you've read part 1.
For the first time ever, you’ll get to read about, not only my version of this but my mothers’ side as well!
FYI – I apologize in advance in case of any mindfucks you may endure during this read. It’s like my mind was glitching or ticking in and out. One minute I’m in one place doing something and then, less than a minute later I’m in a different place doing something else. I wasn’t myself ya see ha ha!
Meanwhile; Mum, only 29yrs old at the time, was about to deal with one of the most fucked up things of her life!
I remember seeing a lady standing at the doors, holding one side open ---BUT! I could also be completely wrong; I mean, I was fucked up! I could’ve been looking at a brick wall and thought it was a lady standing at the door.
However, my gut tells me I’m right about seeing a lady, so that’s what we’ll go with!
“I’m in shock! After the visit from Milton W. with the news of Kylie having an accident, I’ve just been told my daughter has a broken leg but will be out tomorrow. She’s being rushed to Gisborne Hospital by helicopter. I thought nothing of it at the time. I watched the helicopter leave. In a panic, I raced home to tell my husband the news ---he had to stay back at home with our two younger children, so my sister Lisa and Mum drove me straight to Gisborne hospital.
The usual 35 – 40min drive from Tolaga to Gisborne felt like the longest drive ever!!”
After seeing a lady; it was in and out of consciousness for me ---in my mind, anyway! Meaning; I was probably unconscious during the entire thing but, my mind has made me believe I was going in and out of it. Whatever it was;- I experienced some crazy shit.
It’s almost like I’m in a movie, watching different scenes of it all. But, I still don’t know WTF is going on!
“Kylie was already being worked on by the time I got there. I didn't get to see her straight away. The waiting game was a silent killer.
The shock & fear was definitely still there! In fact, it's in full force! I just hope my kid is okay back there."
*Am I squinting? I feel like I am?! My eyes feel like they’re trying to open. I feel like I’ve been trapped in the dark for the last 75,000 years. Everything is blurry. Bright but, blurry! yaknow, that bright but blurry feeling you get when the sun is too strong for your eyes to handle.
It stays blurry. And I continue to fade in and out of scenes…sometimes, they’re not all visual, sometimes they’re physical or emotions.
“FUCK! What the fuck is that feeling??!”
It hurts. And this time, it’s not my eyes, it’s my head!! WTF is it!? I’m yelling at her. could be a him but in my blurry vision it looks like a female. I’m yelling for whoever it is, to PLEASE STOP PLEASE!
Why isn't she fucking stopping!!?
It’s so painful. Ew! My tongue is hanging out of my mouth…at least, that’s what it feels like to me. but my head is still in pain. It looks like she’s smiling at me?! WTF!? Don't smile at me bitch!! Just STOP HURTING ME!!!
The only other way of explaining the feeling is ;- something was being forcefully twisted into my skull and there’s a sick bitch, smiling at me, doing it. AND IT'S NOT OKAY!!!
My mind is scattered though. So many fucking questions right now ;-
What is that pain, like actual?
Why is my tongue out of my mouth AND why the fuck does it feel like I look like a dead animal??
Why is the doctor or nurse not putting my tongue back in my mouth?
Is my tongue actually out??!
Why aren’t they stopping??
Can’t they hear me yelling?
Like, I literally have nothing.
And, I don't even know it.
“tell me straight! ---
“I told the Doctor not to sugar-coat anything! And again, I said; IS MY DAUGHTER GOING TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT OR NOT?!
"- I’m sorry but there is a very high chance she might not make it through the night…"
“I’m in absolute SHOCK!”
“We both are!!”
“Devastation doesn’t even explain this shit”
“As a Mother, seeing my daughter who is barely a teenager in such a way is heart breaking. I feel helpless. I’ve let her down."
“Family & Friends gathered at the hospital; Loma & Mike, Bill, Pare, Mum, my sisters…just to name a few”
“Again, HOW IS ANY OF THIS REAL?!”
“I'm watching them, one by one they go in to see her.”
“So much pain. Tears that won't stop falling and my daughter...lying there...in a coma...and there’s nothing I can do.”
“I wonder if she can hear her, Aunty Loma praying over her.
I wonder if she can hear or feel any of us around her."
Artist: @visceral_photography (Jess)
“I was 29yrs old at the time and in six words; - LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.”
(See you next Monday for Part 3)
For a long time I’ve contemplated telling my story on here. I know I’ve lightly touched on it in other posts, but it's always been in a round-about way. I tried telling it in a different section of the site but that ended in the recycle bin - too much babbles & bullshit.
SOOOO. I’ve decided to do a little mini series to get my story out. I’m doing it in parts because it's a LONG LONGGGG journey! Don't wana bore the fuck out've you!!
Without further ado; ...
What if the last thing you heard before you were about to do something was, the laughing and playing that came from you and the local kids?
And then, what if the sound that follows, changes EVERYTHING for the rest of your life…
I was 12yrs old when I took my last steps, had use of my fingers, could 100% feel every inch of my body AND took my last shit and piss without help or exposure – RAW FACTS.
TOLAGA BAY, NEW ZEALAND. 1999, MARCH 1ST – it was a typical day for 12yr old Kylie. School – friends – home – chores – roam ; the weather was hot! Perfect day to go for a swim down at our local spot -; the bridge! And by swim I mean jump off the bridge into the water. Still technically swimming ha.
Photo credit: I do not own rights to this photo! (Google search)
Mum told me I couldn't go. I was definitely NOT allowed to go for a jump. But, yes, I was an asshole. I stomped my feet. Insisted I was going anyway. Disregarded her words. Even her threats of telling Dad Haha! Fuck, 12yr old Kylie was a sassy little bitchhead.
I walked out that day and defied everything mum had said. “Shut up! I’m going” -; I slammed the door and I left.
For the last, almost 20yrs, I have replayed that moment over & over & fucking over again. So many “if only’s” , but ! whatever.
Once I was out the door, I RAN! And I didn’t stop until I got well and truly up the road. On my way;- I stopped at an “aunty’s” house (yaknow, one of those people that everyone calls aunty? We all know one), some older girls were there, getting ready to go to the bridge as well. They were having a smoke first though ---I’m pretty sure I had a puff ha ha & I’m pretty sure I wana slap 12yr old Kylie for being such a little cunt. Don’t smoke kids!
We all made our way to the bridge. We were still on the road and we could already hear lots of laughs and voices coming from that direction.
I couldn’t wait to get there! It was hot. And I was so keen for a jump!!
I sometimes wonder what I was wearing that day, because, for the life of me! I can’t remember. However, I do remember -; I had a cute little black tote bag on my back. it was filled with marbles, they were the “in – thing” at the time.
It’s been 19yrs BUT, anyone know where that went? Ha ha because I’ve always wondered that too!?
Don’t know why, but those two things have always fucked with me ha ha!
WE MADE IT!
I played a few games of marbles first. Took my time making my way up and onto the bridge itself. I think the guilt of defying mum was getting to me.
Not sure when I made the choice to do this next thing but…
I decided I’d go under the bridge and follow the little pathway through, which took me to the other side of the bridge that nobody really jumped off. I wasn’t on that side for the bridge anyway! I walked that way because it also took me along the river bank, (located at the bottom of our towns local motel) and over to the jetty; which is where my cousin and his friends were.
It looked fun.
I remember, I walked on that jetty. I walked right to the edge of it and I just stood there. I looked out and around at my surroundings. Analysing all of the beauty.
I was quickly reminded that, I was also surrounded by cheeky boys too! Who, happened to be playing tag at the time.
I had walked back to the river bank, just chilling.
I can’t remember 100% but I feel like a boy named Hone ran passed me, hit me and said “ha ha TAG”…omg! Typing that fucks me off haha I hate being tagged!!
because, guess what my reaction was? SLOW! AND I MISSED when I tried returning the tag haha fuck sakes! So, I did the next best thing – I saw him and a couple others run and bomb off the end of the jetty. I thought, RIGHT! If they can do it, I can too! (plus I wanted to get him back!)
and this, girls & boys, is when everything was about to change forever…
I ran to the end of the jetty…
I didn’t do a bomb… like the boys did…
I decided to dive…
With this decision came HUGE consequences.
I hit the water…and I hear a sound that'll never leave my mind. It was like a cracking noise. I’m not sure if I momentarily passed out after that!? But there has always been that blank part for me?!
My mind wakes up. It’s cold under here though. Well, at least the top of my back & head that’s exposed to air and sun feels warm.
But, I can’t breathe… and once I actually come too, my eyes open and I realise -; I ACTUALLY CAN’T BREATHE!!! I’m yelling, SCREAMING underwater but no one can hear me. The more I open my mouth, the faster it fills with salty water.
OMG! I'M ACTUALLY GOING TO DIE.
I feel my head being dunked under more. UMM HELLO CUNTS I AM CURRENTLY DROWNING!
And then I feel things hitting my body ---kids thought I was playing & pretending to float on top of the surface…FOR THAT LONG GUYS!!?? I’M NOT A FISH ha ha!
I don’t know how long I tried for.
I told myself --; “Okay. Calm down Kylie…Close your eyes and go to sleep…”
I took my last gasp of salty water and then I closed my eyes, calmed myself enough to drift away.
Everything was silent. And dark. And cold.
All of a sudden, I see bright golden lights, and my body fills with warmth. And to this very day -; I believe I saw the gates or opening, to the next place. In the vision I remember from that moment, I made it right in front of those big things.
I woke up on the river bank...HOW did I even get there??! I remember crying. All I wanted was MY MUM.
I looked up, AND HELLO MISS POPULAR! Ha ha. sorry. my humour.
I was surrounded though, by A LOT of people. And you know what?? I remember the huge crowd of people in a horseshoe formation, I see people but not faces. Well, all but ONE.
Raewyn P. I see your face, and yours only?! Fuck knows why LOL. I guess I’m a creep?! I remember smiling at you? again, creep! Wtf ha ha
But, I’m still crying.
Mum arrives. I’m crying & crying.
I’m telling them I feel numb. I’m questioning -; WHY CAN’T I FEEL MY LEGS??!!
A helicopter lands.
A tall, skinny, white man walks over by me. he’s dressed in all blue. I must be drifting in and out of consciousness because, I don’t remember being put on the stretcher and carried into the helicopter. But, I do remember that – my last image I saw was the water and Titirangi mountain...
Next thing I knew; I was being rushed through A&E doors at Gisborne Hospital...
(See you next Monday for PART 2)