One day, Jasmine Greenwood was a happy child, loving life and having fun with her friends.
The next day, she was in intensive care, having suffered two strokes triggered by acute appendicitis.
“It’s a weird story, it’s pretty crazy,” said the 16-year-old from Sussex Inlet on the south coast of New South Wales.
âI was pretty happy one afternoon and everything was really normal. I went to bed and my stomach started to hurt and I wasn’t feeling well.
âMy parents took me to the hospital and it was really lucky because there was a teacher there who trained doctors.
“He said we had to have the appendix out urgently and they did, but things got worse and I had septic shock and had two strokes.”
The teenager said she remembers very little of the life-changing incident and saw her in intensive care for three weeks, leaving her with an acquired brain injury.
âI had to relearn to walk, to tie shoelaces, to eat things like that. I’ve been in occupational therapy for a long time, âsaid Greenwood, preparing in Cairns for his first Paralympic Games next week.
âI can walk now, it’s still very hard.
âI’m now learning what my life will be like, the things I could struggle with, but I’m so happy.
âI try to be positive. I’m here doing this and couldn’t be happier. I’m so excited to go to the Paralympics. ”
Part of her rehab was swimming, which Greenwood finds fun because she always hated it.
âI ended up getting good, I got classified and I went to my first states in multiclass when I was eight years old. I then went to the national championships the same year, âshe said.
âI just got better and started to like it. Everyone around me is very positive and now it’s a lot of fun and they are like family.
Greenwood will make his Games debut competing in the 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley in the S10 class.
But if you see her with someone at the start of the race, there’s a reason.
âI have less sensation in my left side, a lack of sensation in my arm and leg and I have a bad tremor that is affecting my starts,â she said.
“I have an assistant and they hold me by the hips because any movement can get you disqualified.”
Greenwood is one of 15 rookies on the 32-person squad including veteran stars Ellie Cole, Matt Levy and Brendan Hall.
The swimming competition will start on August 25.
Read more about AMANDA LULHAM HERE