When I broke my ankle in the Brazilian jungle

Last year in Florianópolis a very ordinary day turned out quite badly…

The day began with one of my friends almost fainting and then throwing up; later another friend almost knocked herself out by whacking her head on a tree and soon after I broke my ankle (although at the time I didn’t know that it was actually broken).

It all started with an attempt to hike to a secluded beach. My friend suffered in the ridiculous 35C heat so we took her home with concern for her health. The rest of us decided to trek up to a local viewpoint to watch the sunset but we hadn’t even made it to the top before my other friend didn’t see a tree and almost knocked herself out.

Loving life before the accident

After enjoying the view and taking plenty of photos we headed back down through the jungle, attempting to beat the darkness. Perhaps I was a little too eager but I didn’t see a tree stump hidden under some leaves and badly twisted my ankle.

I couldn’t even weight bear so walking was out of the question – my only option was to shuffle down on my bottom over mud, loose rocks and clumps of grass. In the now dark. Without any water. Nice one Lewis.

Luckily a couple of guys who had also been up at the viewpoint were heading back after us and offered to half carry/half drag me down. It wasn’t the most comfortable of options but sure did beat shredding skin from shuffling on my hands and bottom. After 2 hours of slow progress we finally made it down to where the car was parked and went home to assess the damage.

The view was pretty nice…

Long story short, my ankle was super swollen so I went to hospital to get it checked out (I ended up at a private clinic because the public hospital was too busy). I had an X-ray but then there was a citywide powercut so they weren’t able to analyse the damage; as it turns out the X-rays weren’t good enough in the first place (blurry or something) so I had to have them redone! Eventually I got told “you’ve twisted your ankle badly, rest it for one week”.

However, 10 days later and it was showing no signs of improving so I took matters into my own hands – due to my brittle bone condition it was possible that I had in fact broken it and it had simply been misdiagnosed. I booked a flight back to the UK, went straight to A&E (accident & emergency) and got told that I had indeed suffered an avulsion fracture (basically snapped a chunk of bone off the bottom of my leg).

On my way home in the protective boot

So, a misplaced footstep in the Brazilian jungle resulted in having to end my South America trip 3 months early and spend 12 weeks in a protective boot – take it easy out there peeps.

Have you had any crazy accidents whilst abroad? Share your story below!

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