GETTING hit by a kangaroo has proven to be life-changing for Thurgoona cyclist Ange Ednie.
The gym instructor is now having to learn to walk again after she was slammed to the ground while riding along Thurgoona Drive last month.
“I heard the scratch of the kangaroo on the ground really loud and then it was right in my face,” Mrs Ednie recalled.
“I went straight over the handlebars and then landed head-first down on to the bitumen with my bike still attached and my arm pinned.”
Lying helpless on the roadway in 5am pitch darkness, Mrs Ednie thought she would be run over by a passing vehicle.
That was on October 13 and a month on Mrs Ednie remains in Melbourne where she was flown only hours after the crushing blow.
With a fractured eye socket, deep cuts and bruising, Mrs Ednie’s face looked shocking, but spinal cord swelling and damage to the C5, C6 and C7 discs was no less severe.
“They’re compromising my spinal canal by pushing on it and I have to have surgery on my cord to release that pressure and to release spinal cord swelling,” she said.
The operation will be held next Wednesday and if all goes to plan the grandmother will be fully recovered in nine months.
Already Mrs Ednie has gone from no movement below her head to using a wheelchair to walking on a treadmill with a harness.
“The surgeon has told me I’ll be home by Christmas,” she said.
If I ever get to run again it will be a bonusCyclist Ange Ednie, victim of kangaroo hit
The rehabilitation sessions will continue in Albury, with her fitness already well honed by regularly competing in triathlons over the past 10 years.
Mrs Ednie had been training 10 to 12 hours a week before the crash with the aim of doing up to eight triathlons over summer.
When the kangaroo hit her, the 54 year-old was riding to Thurgoona oval for a running session with a friend in preparation for a half ironman at Shepparton.
“I won’t say I’d a triathlon again, but I won’t say no – I’ve just got to get my fitness level up and see how I go,” Mrs Ednie said.
“At this stage I’ll be happy to walk without aids and if I get to cycling I’ll be excited and if I ever get to run again it will be a bonus.”
Mrs Ednie said the ordeal had been tough financially with no insurance cover but she was grateful to not be left on a ventilator like other patients she had seen.
As for kangaroos she has no hard feelings, accepting they’re a hazard after having slowed her bike down previously to avoid them along Table Top Road.
“They’re a beautiful animal,” Mrs Ednie said.
“I don’t hold any grudges against them.
“I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”