29 Jul Round the world with a broken ankle
Adventure-seeker Tahni Rush has revealed how she didn’t let a broken ankle ruin her trip of a lifetime. Instead she ditched her crutches, got a ‘hi-tech peg-leg’ and kept on going.
Tahni had been planning her travels for months – volunteering in Nepal, followed by London, Amsterdam and Malta. But the dream trip turned to a nightmare when she took a shortcut while walking in rural Nepal. She lost her footing and tumbled down the hill, breaking her ankle in three places.
Tahni needed surgery and was given conventional crutches to get around on while she recovered from her broken ankle. But she knew that they wouldn’t cut it if she was going to continue her trip – which she was determined to do.
Limited by crutches
She says: “I found crutches absolutely exhausting and I couldn’t even walk five minutes down the street. So there was no way I was going to be able to travel and do all the things I wanted to do in that state. I would have no choice but to go home.”
After doing some research online for possible alternatives Tahni discovered the iWALK2.0, a hands-free alternative to crutches. She ordered one to be delivered to a friend’s address in London and boarded a flight six days after her surgery.
She says: “The iWALK2.0 was a complete life-changer. It was almost like I was walking again and everything became so much easier. After sightseeing in London we flew to Amsterdam and then to Malta. We had the most incredible time and now I’m back in London volunteering with the Hare Krishna and enjoying walking around the city. There’s no way I could have done any of this with traditional crutches. The iWALK2.0 made all this possible.”
Tahni’s dramatic rescue
Tahni’s accident happened in the middle of nowhere. She had to wait on her own with only a few hours of daylight left while a friend went to get help. She says: “I was alone, in pain, in a rural area where a leopard was known to frequent, so needless to say it was a long wait.
The village didn’t have a medic or any ice so Tahni had a rough night until she could travel to the community hospital three hours away the next day.
X-rays confirmed that she’d broken her ankle. But there were no bone specialists at the hospital and no one spoke English. So she decided to make the long journey to Kathmandu.
She says: “It was a nine-hour jeep ride with potholes the whole way. All I could do was grit my teeth. The doctor explained that I’d fractured my ankle in three places and needed surgery. Hearing that I needed metal plates and screws was a huge shock as it made the seriousness of my injury real – and the fact that I was thousands of miles from home.”
Travelling with a broken ankle
The surgery went well but Tahni had to wait six days before she could fly out of Kathmandu. At this point most people would have gone back home to recover, with a bit of TLC from their family. But Tahni was determined not to give up on her epic trip.
Tahni adds: “To be able to keep travelling and stick to my plans was unreal and I got to see some beautiful places. If I didn’t have the iWALK2.0 I would have been forced to go home or sit in my friend’s flat in London. I would have been housebound. Instead I got to travel the world, see different countries and even take a dip in the ocean. Being out and about does something to your brain and body – it makes it want to heal. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to keep going.”