Heidi's Injury
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HEIDI'S INJURY AND RECOVERY

It was October 29, 2015, a very windy day on Lake Champlain. I had learned to kiteboard a year before, so I was proficient in the sport and the skills kiteboarding required. My husband introduced me to kiteboarding. He is a weather master, especially when it comes to wind and knowing which size kite to use. He also knows when to get off the water. Perhaps I relied on his knowledge too much that day. Regardless, he was not there the day of my injury and had warned me the wind was gusting 44 knots. I had already kited for an hour and had almost called it a day, but for whatever reason, I went up for one last ride as the wind had picked up. BIG mistake. As I launched the kite, I was instantly sky-rocketed upwards, about 10 feet in the air, and landed hard on the ground. I didn’t know what had happened but felt I was okay. My friend hung onto my harness and told me to lower the kite (which is attached by four lines 100 feet above you). As I did, he was unable to hold onto me because the winds were so gusty and strong. I shot through the air sideways, like a cannon, and hit a downed tree with my head. I instantly broke my neck and went limp. I knew in my mind that I was a quadriplegic. I felt like I was floating; I couldn’t tell if I was on the ground or not...