Wedding chopper crash: Doctors optimistic woman will walk again

Wedding photographer Rachel Jordan was seriously injured when the helicopter she was in with a...
Wedding photographer Rachel Jordan was seriously injured when the helicopter she was in with a wedding party crashed. Photo: Givealittle
Just two weeks ago, Rachel Jordan was photographing a bride and groom on their wedding day when the helicopter they were in crashed to the ground, severely injuring her, the pilot and the bride and groom.

She is currently in hospital and her husband Eric Jordan said her recovery could last three months but doctors have told him they are optimistic she will walk again.

"Rachel has obviously been through quite a bit in the past week or so.

"She's been through a period of recovery the past few days which is pretty encouraging. Her surgeon spoke with me and informed me that the range of motion in her legs that he's seen from her is quite a positive sign that if she keeps at her trend to improve her situation in terms of recovery that she may walk again at some point.

"She was having a pretty tough time mentally ... coming to terms with how long the recovery would be, that was probably the most difficult time we experienced through all of this, [it] was the crisis point of gosh this is going to change everything about our future and our lives moving forward and it's going to be a lot of work to get her back to doing what she loves doing.

"That point in time was the hardest and she pushed through that hurdle and then after hearing what her surgeon had to say about her progress turned her into a new positive mind frame where she's able to see if I keep working at getting better I can improve."

Jordan said the families of all the people involved in the crash, have been supporting each other.

"We're all centred on the same floor of the hospital in Christchurch ... we're all going through the same things emotionally at the same time. We're all in a state of shock but we're all very empathetic people especially towards one another in terms of what we knew we're all facing together."

He said he has developed a close bond with the families.

"This is something that's terrible to have happened but we're all in this together ... we have to move forward from now ... understand it's going to be a long road and help each other through it no matter what it takes."

A Givealittle page set up for Rachel has reached over $27,000 and her husband described the support from throughout the country as amazing. "The outpouring of support not just from the community but from all across New Zealand has been incredible," Jordan said.

He said in a meeting with families of those involved in the crash Wyndon Aviation, which owns the helicopter, had identified it was a total power loss mid flight that caused the aircraft to crash but said they are unsure what caused the power loss.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is also investigating the cause of the crash, Jordan said their investigation will take much longer and will consider whether this power loss is common amongst the type of helicopter the party were travelling in.

"All I can say from what I've been told about the CAA and how they undergo investigations is that they're very, very thorough and they will take their time."

He said the CAA have been considerate of Rachel's recovery process telling her they would love to talk to her but only when she feels ready to talk about the crash.


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