Park monorail snaps young woman's spine
WHEN 17-year-old Christina Bishop hopped on the monorail ride in Boreham Park, she expected fun and laughs would follow, not the nightmare that did.
Ms Bishop had ridden the monorail with her 9-year-old brother earlier in the day and decided to enjoy another ride as her family watched on from the nearby barbecue area.
Suddenly and unexpectedly, the monorail bike came to a holt, throwing Ms Bishop off the bike and onto the ground below.
She landed on her head, the jarring blow broke her neck and the impact to her knee resulted in soft tissue damage. Now, three months after the July incident, Ms Bishop is left in a neck brace with T4 and T5 spinal damage.
Christina's sister Shelly said she watched the scene unfold on that ill-fated day and is now counting her lucky stars that her sister did not become a paraplegic.
But with the extensive, unrepaired damaged to her spinal cord, Ms Bishops mother Maryanne fears a wrong move could leave her daughter in a permanent wheelchair.
"The doctors say she's got to be operated on to get the bones fused back together," she said. Christina recalled how she came to be thrown from the monorail.
She believed the gaps in the rail were separating and said the bike jumped to a halt. "It just ceased, it was completely stuck," she said.
Christina described the pain of the fall as excruciating and remembers screaming but never thought the damage would be so bad.
"When I got up my eyes were all black," she said.
"And there was yellow coming out of my nose; they think it was spinal fluid."
She did not go to hospital but after going home and putting her feet up, Christina said the realisation began to set in.
Several doctors appointments and an MRI later and her diagnosis was confirmed, she had broken her neck.
The heartbroken teen said she was studying at TAFE with the dream of becoming a disability worker.
But that dream has been put on her as Christina awaits specialist medical advice on her pending operation in Brisbane.
The monorail has now been removed from the park but the Bundaberg Regional Council's parks spokesman Wayne Honor did not know why. "That really alarms me, I haven't been notified of that," Cr Honor said.