As we all know, motocross is a dangerous and tough sport. These sort of things are the downside to the sport but you can read Jodie McCaughey’s story and how her brave recovery is going.
On the 24th February there will be a 70/80’s themed night as a fundraiser for Jodie at the Park Avenue Hotel.
Hello, I’m your typical 17 year old girl with a huge dream! The main thing that I always thought about was motocross. Every weekend I would be racing and when I didn’t race it felt like something was missing.
I can’t explain how much I loved it! Even when I got hurt or broke bones, I still wanted to keep at motocross. I made so many friends, most were boys but also very family oriented.
My mum Denise, my dad Martin, my little brother and sister Samantha and Martin planned a weekend away at a caravan site named Ballyronan Caravan Park.
The caravan site was 15 minutes away from the motocross track called Desertmartin. Me and my little brother Martin were more excited because we had racing on the Saturday, we were more excited for a lie in because we arrived at the site on Friday.
The day of arrival was so sunny and warm, It was a day for resting your legs in the sun. This picture is of us enjoying our day there!
Saturday morning came and I didn’t know I was on my way to a place that was going to change my life. I went to sign on like normal, that day was like a normal motocross day well at least everyone thought.
I admit, before I left my house I had a funny feeling something bad was going to happen but I never really thought about it afterwards. I said to one of my friends Ryan, well everyone calls him “Midgey”.
That day was going alright so far I had my practice and first race done but putting gear on for practice I brought the wrong boots etc. I never knew that while I was putting my gear on again for the second race that it would be the last time I ever do. I pushed my bike to the starting gate and I sat at the gate so hyped like always.
I said to myself I was gonna go fast in this one and just “wing it”. Yes I blame myself because I was so fed up of being so far behind everyone. I used to be so good on the bike until I broke my two femurs a year before but I said no this is it Jodie just do it!
In this picture I was literally a couple of minutes away from my horrible accident.
I was coming down the hill “horseshoe” and I felt very unfocused… it was as if I was in a daze. There was a deep rut and I was taking this line every race but this time was different.
I don’t remember much but when I was being shook about I couldn’t feel it at all. All I remember is lying there feeling nothing… my back felt like someone had stabbed me a million times.
I was told by friends and my dad that it was as if my bike just stopped dead but obviously the front wheel got stuck in the rut, I then flew in the air forwards and landed on my back. The pressure was that bad it made my legs bend over my head.
I lay there and couldn’t move one bit, the whole thing was such a blur because my body was in so much shock. I can’t remember being put on the board, I must have passed out. The pain started to really kick in when they were were taking me to the ambulance, I remember crying in pain the whole way.
My favourite women came to see me in the ambulance… AVRIL!! I was so scared and I said “Avril if I’m paralysed I don’t want to live” that is still as clear as day to me. The travel to the hospital wasn’t as clear as day though that gas and air is some job!
I lay in Antrim hospital begging for pain relief the only relief I gave myself was by relaxing my back. Things throughout the whole experience were blurry but when it came to the nurses etc having to turn me into my side I’ve never screamed more in all my life!
Before I knew it I was in the Royal hospital getting ready to go in for surgery and I remember this silly women coming in and breaking the news to me that I will never ever walk again. Yes someone needed to but she never broke it to me nicely she just gave me blunt news and had a face on her, I was so angry.
My hero then walked in to the room his name was Dr Darwish. I begged him to please try make me walk again and he held my hand and shook his head up and down and gave me a fist bump. To this day that is our wee thing… fist bumps.
I went to sleep with this…
I then woke up to this…
My Horrible Journey Onwards 💔
When I woke up I felt so sore, weak, dizzy etc. Like I’ve said before I barely remember the first few days in the royal. The worst thing that could ever happen after surgery decided to happen to me, doctors and nurses had to rush me to the HDU unit “high dependency unit”.
There was no time so everything was done fast. They had to give me a drug called Ketamine so that I couldn’t feel them put a tube through my ribs and into my lung. I remember shouting in pain but I can’t remember the pain or the experience throughout it because Ketamine makes you forget.
The Ketamine is so scary… I could see orange cushions on the roof and tried to touch them, I then saw my friends David Robson and Ryan Stanfield lying in hospital beds. It was awful. At the end of it a litre and a half of fluid was drained out of my lung and it was time to take the tube out but that was painful, really really painful.
From there on out things were upwards but my mind was nuts. I was wondering constantly everyday asking myself, “will I get a boyfriend”, “will my friends stick by my side”, “will all the friends I made forget about me”. I was so badly torturing myself but wouldn’t anyone if there ability to walk was took away from them really fast.
My physio started straight away by having me sit up on the bed but I’ve never felt more weird before. Due to me being paralysed from below my boobs down I had no belly strength “core” to sit up so I had to use my arms a lot to control myself.
The main excitement I had was to go to Musgrave because Musgrave helps get you to get fit and ready to go home but also they teach you in the spinal unit how to manage personal care and even physio. They always had me up early that’s what I hated about it.
I started off in a big bulky chair because of the pain I was in with my scar and the metal work but I slowly moved onto a smaller faster wheelchair.
Still to this day little things can happen like bladder infections, nerve pain, sore back, getting sick. A lot of more stuff happens and it can stress me out so much and I have horrible horrible thoughts but I’m learning slowly.
My life is so different and never ever thought I would have to deal with something like this, bladder care and bowel care are very different that’s the main stuff that annoy me but sure I have to deal with it.
The last thing I want to say is live your life to the max because life can change within a second and even if I was given the chance to ride again I would and if I was given the chance to go back in time not race that day… I would still race that day.
All these pictures are what I went through and my life now💕
My scar and metal work
Pic: Diane Hamilton