Skydive accident survivor rediscovers passion for life

Jonas Lutke swims up to four kilometres per session, all without the use of his legs. (ABC Far North: Mark Rigby)

Skydive accident survivor rediscovers passion for life

Skydive accident survivor rediscovers passion for life in open water swimming

Posted on 24.01.2017

A far north Queensland man whose passion for adventure landed him in a wheelchair is training for one of the toughest open water swims in Queensland.

Jonas Lutke, 28, became a partial quadriplegic following a mid-air skydiving accident over Goondiwindi, southern Queensland, in 2014.

“I had a big jump in the middle of the day with 10 people and basically I got caught off guard and my friend and I got entangled in the sky,” Mr Lutke said.

The sky-diving instructor said he was freefalling at around 200 kilometres per hour when they collided.

“Once I got hit I knew something wasn’t right, my whole body just went numb,” he said.

“I landed and soon after in the hospital I found out I had dislocated my C6 and C7 vertebrae, and I also got a big squeeze on my spinal cord.”

Learning to live again

Mr Lutke spent more than six months in hospital, coming to terms with his accident and what it meant for the rest of his life.

“I had to learn to live again, to eat, to talk, to do mundane day-to-day tasks, and two years on I’m still learning how to do this,” he said.

“It takes a lot of mental adjustment, but there was no point living in denial, you have to move on and do the best with what you’ve got.”

It was in hospital that Mr Lutke started swimming as a form of rehabilitation.

Source
ABC News

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