Extreme pain

20 seconds of joy …can equal a whole world of pain.

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A while ago I went to to watch a series of adventure films, one of which (Fatima’s Hand)was about the lovely Karina Hollekim.

Karina is a fulltime adventure athlete for Red Bull and North Face; she specializes in extreme freestyle skiing and BASE jumping. She clearly has a thirst for the adventurous lifestyle.

She has successfully done over 400 BASE jumps without an accident. I guess it was only a question of time before the law of average caught up with her.

 

She August 2006 in Switzerland, she had a routine demonstration skydive, from a plane, over water, with friends.

That day, her equipment had been checked. It was working properly. “We did everything right,” she says.

Karina had to land in a different place because she was filming. As she opened the parachute it created a tension knot on the line.

“I immediately realised; this is one of the things that kill B.A.S.E jumpers. I knew I was going to die.”

She had a malfunction in her parachute and hit the ground (solid rock) at more than 100kph.

It nearly killed her.

It resulted in 4 fractures in her left femur and 21 open fractures in her right leg but luckily she was able to save her back, her head and most of all, her life.

She lost three and a half litres of blood in 45 minutes.

“They were about to lose me because of that” she says casually.

A rescue helicopter took her to hospital, where she woke up two days later to be told she would never walk again. 

For one month she could not be moved.

Then she spent four months in a hospital at home in Norway, half a year in a wheelchair, and a year in rehab.

She has not jumped since.

Presently she is facing her 16th surgery and faces another 4 months on crutches.

As she admits,:

“I’m scared. It’s always like this after a big accident and it takes time to get over it. If I spend two, maybe three years in rehab centres and hospitals just to get back to my life, maybe I spent all my luck and I don’t want to end up in this situation again.”

“And the next time I don’t know if I’ll be this lucky.”