I was in Japan skiing with my family in January 2020. It was the second day of the trip when I got injured and ruptured my ACL.
I’ve skied every year of my life, basically, so I’m a very confident skier. I’m not a beginner at all. I’ve skied a lot. But I fell and noticed there was a really loud noise in my knee. I knew something was wrong then. I stood up and my whole knee caved in. At that point, I knew I couldn’t ski down the mountain myself.
We called mountain rescue and they took me down in a Ski-Doo, which is a type of skimobile. From there, they took me straight to the clinic. Luckily, the resort we were at is quite popular among Australians, so I was able to find a doctor that spoke English. The language barrier wasn’t really an issue.
My knee didn’t really hurt at that point. It wasn’t a painful injury, though my body was in a lot of shock. At the clinic, they put me in a knee brace and sent me home with some painkillers. We then organised an MRI scan.
Originally, my plan had been to go to Australia after Japan. I didn’t know if that was a good idea but my doctor in Japan said he was quite happy for me to chill on a beach in Australia. He said it’s recommended you wait at least two months after the ACL injury to have surgery if you’re not a professional athlete.
So because I’m not a professional athlete, I followed my travel plan and went to Australia.
I ended up staying there for about a month. While I was there, I had another MRI and saw a physio. It was useful to get an MRI in Australia because the one I had from Japan was in Japanese.
I was walking by the time I saw the physio in Australia. She gave me some exercises to do and told me my knee was strong enough to allow me to walk without the brace. That was a huge relief.
I did have to cut my trip short because of the injury. I was meant to go to New Zealand for another month after Australia, but I decided against that because it was going to be a quite active trip and there would be a lot of walking. By then I could walk around to get myself around, but I wasn’t walking properly. I couldn’t go on hikes and things.
My travel insurance covered everything which was so good. They sorted me a flight home and the MRIs and hospital bills as well.
When I got back home to the UK I knew surgery was probably my best option because I did want to do sport and be active again.