In our most recent episode of Flight Podcast we talk to Janine Shepherd.
Janine Shepherd was a champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics when her life was suddenly and irrevocably altered during a training bicycle ride to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. A speeding utility truck struck Janine and shattered her body as well as her dream of Olympic representation. She broke her neck and back in six places, broke 5 ribs on her left side, broke her right collar bone, broke her right arm and multiple bones in her feet. Her body and skull was ripped open exposing lumps of gravel. By the time she was airlifted to the Prince Alfred Hospital she had lost 5 litres of blood – more than somebody her size would hold. Her blood pressure was 40 over nothing. She was not expected to live.
Janine tells us that she was presented with a choice; live life or give up. She chose the former. Despite her critical injuries, her 6-months in hospital and intense rehabilitation, Janine refused to accept her diagnosis. She would walk again.
Janine was ultimately able to walk again, albeit with a slight limp, and has three children (despite what she was told by doctors). She gained her pilots license within a year of the accident, and went on to gain an instructor’s license, eventually becoming an aerobatics flying instructor with an elite Sydney based flying school. Janine’s commitment to aviation was rewarded when she became the first female (and youngest ever) board member of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Janine tells us that her story is not about learning to learning to fly, or learning to walk again… it’s a story about learning to live again.
Janine is now a motivational speaker and author. She travels internationally speaking to thousands of people.
You can listen to the Janine episode below or visit the show notes at flightpodcast.com