Overcoming adversity through hot springs bathing
Meet Megan Tucker, an active 26 year old whose life was turned upside down after a serious bicycle accident.
This is an inspirational story about her road to recovery and how bathing at Peninsula Hot Springs assisted with her physical, mental and emotional recovery.
Shortly after completing her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Melbourne University, Megan secured her dream job on the Mornington Peninsula. Five days before her move to the Peninsula, she decided to cycle to her family home in Coburg along Sydney Road to bid farewell. That’s the moment when her life as she knew it would change in an instant.
After being forced onto the tram tracks due to roadworks, her wheels became caught and, in a panic, she braked and twisted the handlebars at the same time. This catapulted her over the handlebars at 20km/hr, piercing her groin from right to left. That afternoon Megan underwent two rounds of vascular surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital to repair her right femoral vein, left femoral vein, left internal iliac artery and left internal iliac vein as well as her left inguinal ligament. She also formed a venous clot and consequently some pulmonary emboli, making breathing difficult in the coming weeks.
Megan spent 12 days in acute care at Royal Melbourne Hospital, followed by 16 days at Camberwell Epworth Rehabilitation learning how to walk again and function day to day. During those first five days in the Royal Melbourne Hospital Megan was unable to move out of bed and was in incredible physical pain. She was suffering with so much loss and struggling to come to terms with her new predicament, “I had lost all of my independence, my dream veterinary job, the chance to pack up my house and through a series of unfortunate events my handbag and its contents. My surgeons were unsure if I would ever make a full recovery and were quite concerned over my post-operative complications.”
Megan’s family, particularly her Mum, spent many hours sitting at her bedside. Her Mum tried to encourage her to focus on things that made her happy and it was during one of these moments that Megan told her Mum that she wished she was floating in the water at Peninsula Hot Springs. This became a popular subject matter over the weeks that followed, sparking Megan’s desire to recover quickly in order to realise her dream of bathing in the healing water of Peninsula Hot Springs.
Megan turned her focus to her physical and psychological recovery. She was determined that she was going to do everything possible to recover, often surprising her team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologist with her strength of will. “I was determined that I was going to get back to cycling, swimming, yoga and rock-climbing. With all of the support from the nursing staff and medical teams, this almost all seemed possible.” However when Megan returned home it seemed much harder to stay determined and focused. To brighten her spirits, her Mum surprised her with a gift of 10 bathing passes for Peninsula Hot Springs, reigniting Megan’s will to stay on track with her recovery.
Four months after her accident, Megan was finally able to realise her dream of bathing at Peninsula Hot Springs. She has visited several times since then, and each time Megan finds that the hot mineral springs help to relax her muscles around her injured ligaments. Megan reflects, “Aside from the physical benefits of bathing, perhaps the way the hot springs has helped me recover most has been emotionally. The calming environment of the springs set amongst the beautiful tea-trees with those sparkling fairy lights has given me the space to grieve and cry, regroup and continue on.” Megan is also looking forward to joining yoga sessions in the future and will continue to bathe on a regular basis during her recovery and beyond. Knowing that the hot springs have been there for me to visit has been a wonderfully comforting luxury and for that I cannot thank the team at Peninsula Hot Springs enough.”
The link between hot springs bathing and benefits to physical and emotional wellbeing are of paramount importance to Peninsula Hot Springs, with a partnership recently being formed with Mental Health Australia. CEO and co-founder of Peninsula Hot Springs, Charles Davidson says, “We are increasingly being recognised as a destination for regular therapy of balneology for everything from back pain to depression.” The Mental Health Australia Friendship now signifies our involvement beyond creating the beneficial experiences, to include PHS advocacy, education and research for both mental and physical wellbeing.”