Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Heroic Parkrun Journey Back Up and Running; Nothing Can Keep Jess from Parkrun

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Heroic Parkrun Journey Back Up and Running; Nothing Can Keep Jess from Parkrun

Article excerpt

Byline: Caroline Southwell

RUNNING: Jess McDowell's parkrun journey started in a similar way to many others who run in their communities.

She spotted people walking and running around a green space local to her home one Saturday morning in July 2016 and she asked someone what was going on.

The next week Jess showed up to participate and quickly became a regular at the Maryborough parkrun.

Jess, like many of her fellow parkrunners, would do a combination of walking and running each week to get around the 5km course in an average time of about 50 minutes.

She loved it and made it to parkrun on average every second week, all year round, either to walk/run or to volunteer.

Then in October last year, Jess had an accident at work.

She stumbled and fell, dislocating her knee.

She was taken to her local hospital where she was sedated and a team of people attempted to put her knee back into place.

But her knee refused to co-operate.

The medical team organised to have her transferred to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital but with severe storms happening in the area at the time, Jess could not be moved until the next morning.

Once at the new hospital, the team tried for a whole month to save her leg, but with eight hours with no blood flow to the foot, there was no hope.

Jess' leg was amputated above the knee, leaving Jess with a new reality to get used to.

Jess was in shock but she quickly realised that feeling sorry for herself was not helpful at all.

She focused on what she could do instead.

She recognised that she could still do things, just in a different way.

Jess made it a goal to return to parkrun even if all she could do was sit, watch and cheer people on.

"It has been very challenging to change from walking to being in a wheelchair," she said.

Upon her return to Maryborough parkrun on Christmas Day (a few months after her accident) she was welcomed back with open arms. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.