Link August 2017 - Page 23

C hris Blowes loves surfing – it the shark, but at that point he had days before his family, or his fiancé, is his passion, his hobby, and already lost his leg. could speak to him. his release. “Before the shark attack I spent Another surfer at the rocks Chris spent six weeks in hospital wrapped a leg rope around Chris’s before he could return home, and almost all my free time surfing,” Chris leg to act as a tourniquet and stop once home, it was even longer before said. “Including weekends, but if the him from bleeding out. From there, he could start any rehabilitation, or waves were good during the week, I the three fellow surfers used a board begin to learn to use a prosthetic leg. would usually find myself knocking off as a stretcher to carry Chris up the work early to get a surf in. rocks to the shore. wounds from the initial bite mark on my side that took a long time to heal, “It was definitely my favourite Though they’d called an “Rehab was quite frustrating, I had thing to do, I was obsessed with ambulance, it was still 35 kilometres which meant waiting a while before I it, particularly travelling up and away, just leaving Port Lincoln, and so could use a prosthetic leg,” he said. down the coast of South Australia, Chris was put in the back of his friend’s exploring untouched beaches and car to travel toward the ambulance. as they were right where my prosthetic finding waves with no-one around.” sits, which slowed healing time.” On Anzac Day of 2015, Chris When the car met the ambulance “These wounds have caused grief part-way to Port Lincoln, paramedics took to the water with some mates, immediately jumped out to assist, Chris said there were new issues to enjoying the extra time off work. but couldn’t find a pulse. Chris content with. was clinically dead, and required in the water, when a Great White assistance from paramedics to keep issue I faced at the start of my recovery, shark, estimated at six metres long, blood pumping around his body for with many sleepless nights due to a attacked Chris. 90 minutes. feeling of electric shocks and burning There were several other surfers Two friends who Chris had been He was flown from Port Lincoln Once beginning rehabilitation, “Phantom pain was another major in my non-existent foot,” he said. surfing with were able to pull him to the Royal Adelaide Hospital the to some rocks when he re-surfaced moment he was stabilised, and into phantom pain, and we found after being dragged underwater by placed in an induced coma for ten mirror therapy, which was designed “My fiancé did lots of research interview 21