Beauty therapist will have to learn to walk again after smashing her spine jumping from a tourist boat off the coast of Croatia
- Nicole Chadwick, 20, from Stretford, Trafford, Greater Manchester, was injured
- The beauty therapist jumped from a boat and landed on back injuring vertebrae
- She had taken out insurance with Debenhams but it was void on the excursion
- She is recovering at Wythenshawe Hospital and will have to learn to walk again
A beauty therapist will have to learn to walk again after jumping off a boat and landing on her back in the sea.
Nicole Chadwick, 20, and her boyfriend Lewis, from Stretford, Trafford, Greater Manchester, travelled to Dubrovnik, Croatia, for a four-day holiday.
Nicole Chadwick, 20, and her boyfriend Lewis, from Stretford, Trafford, Greater Manchester, travelled to Dubrovnik, Croatia, where she jumped off a boat and landed on her back fracturing her twelfth vertebrae
On the second day of the trip, the pair went on a boat excursion travelling around some nearby islands last month.
Nicole watched her boyfriend and other tourists jump from the boat into the sea when it stopped at a beauty spot in the Adriatic Sea.
But as Nicole jumped from the boat, she landed on her back and the impact from the water fractured her twelfth vertebrae.
Nicole needed an emergency operation in Croatia and had six pins and two rods inserted into her spine.
She can now barely stand or walk without the support of a brace and physiotherapist.
Nicole and Lewis had taken insurance out with Debenhams which offered up to £10million in medical expenses.
However Nicole’s insurance became void because her accident happened on an excursion leaving her to foot the bill of thousands to cover hospital fees and the air ambulance back to the UK.
Nicole and her boyfriend Lewis joined an excursion where they paused at a beauty spot off the coast of Dubrovnik, Croatia, and jumped into the sea
The beauty consultant told the Manchester Evening News: ‘We got to the last stop and people were jumping off into the sea. I jumped off feet first but my feet ended up moving slightly forward and I ended up on an angle.
‘As I hit the water, my back took a lot of the impact as it was pretty high.
‘I just felt a massive amount of pain in my back and as came up from the water I shouted to Lewis and screamed for help.
‘I was trying to swim back to the boat but just couldn’t – my nose was bleeding and I had split my eye open.’
Nicole’s boyfriend and a tour guide dragged her back onto the boat and took her to the nearest port where an ambulance was waiting for them.
She was taken to hospital in Dubrovnik where doctors took scans and an X-ray.
The results revealed that part of the fracture had entered the spinal fluid, which surrounds vital nerves.
Nicole and Lewis on their four-day holiday overlooking the island of Lombok before the freak accident
Doctors told her she had fractured her twelfth vertebrae and that she would need emergency surgery to prevent the fracture causing further injuries.
Nicole said: ‘The doctors strapped me onto a board and put me in an air ambulance to Split in Croatia on my own.
Nicole was flown home in an air ambulance and is now recovering at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, with her family at her bedside
‘I was in a lot of pain at this point and realised it was serious.’
Nicole’s parents flew out to Croatia and the family was told that she wouldn’t be able to travel home on a plane. The only safe way would be in an air ambulance with doctors on board.
Nicole’s mother Suzanne said: ‘We just want to stress to other young people when they go on holiday to just watch what they are doing.
‘I know they go on holiday to have fun but we want them to realise that their insurance does not cover everything, and people don’t read the small print.
‘You don’t think about any of these things, we would have paid anything to get Nicole home, we would have remortgaged the house.
‘After seeing her in Croatia, it makes you realise how good the NHS is, we don’t realise how lucky we are.’
Nicole was flown home in an air ambulance and is now recovering at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, with her family at her bedside.
She may need a further operation at Salford Royal Hospital and will undergo extensive physiotherapy to help her learn how to walk again.
The coast of Dubrovnik overlooking the Adriatic Sea where Nicole and Lewis were staying for their trip
To cover the medical expenses, Nicole and her boyfriend set up a fundraising page on Sunday and they have already raised over £15,000.
All of the money raised will go towards the medical bill from Croatia and paying for the transport back to the UK.
Nicole said: ‘I just started crying when I saw how much had been raised, it made me very emotional.
‘I was blown away by how kind everybody has been.’
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