Gemma Moore with her sister Cobie Moore.
Gemma Moore with her sister Cobie Moore. Contributed

Balcony fall trauma

CHRISTMAS Day ended in panic for the Moore family after they celebrated at the family home in Tucabia.

While taking a family photo on the veranda outside, sisters Gemma, 25, and Cobie Moore, 22, were perched on a balustrade when it collapsed, causing the girls to fall two metres.

Gemma fractured the P12 vertebrae in her lower back while Cobie sustained far more serious injuries. In the fall, she broke the C5 and C6 vertebrae in her neck.

She was airlifted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and rushed into surgery with fears that she would be a paraplegic.

"At the moment she is out of intensive care and in their spinal unit," Gemma said.

"Now she is just waiting for a bed to open up at a rehabilitation centre in Ryde, which is really, really good because they were expecting her to be in hospital for at least another month.

"Once she gets into the rehab centre, she will have about another six months of intensive physio, but doctors have said that the full extent of the damage won't be known for another two years.

Gemma said every day there is a little improvement in her sister's condition.

"Mum will ring me and say 'Oh my god she has done this', so we are taking it one day at a time.

"She has got her triceps and biceps back, which means that she should get full strength back in her arms and she has got limited movement in her hands, but we are all thinking positive."

Gemma's injuries have kept her in Grafton, however, she will make her way down to Sydney this weekend to be beside her sister.

"In the beginning we made Cobie 1000 paper cranes, because there is a story that goes that if you do that you get a wish. It provided a good distraction for a few days too," Gemma said.



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