I’d been out painting all day. I had one section to do. I didn’t stabilise the ladder enough. I just had two weatherboards to go and they were up the top.
By that time I was tired, my glasses were dirty. I was leaning over, rather than going down the ladder, moving the ladder and going back up again. I just reached out to try and sand the last bit.
That’s when the ladder became unstable, and I fell.
I landed with a great thud on concrete. I hit my head. I was in a lot of pain, particularly back pain.
I got some fractured ribs, a pneumothorax – that’s like an opening on the lung.
I was a nurse for 32 years. I’ve seen injuries from lesser trauma – paraplegia, quadriplegia – it was my worry that I’d done something really bad.
I had an existing back problem and it just exacerbated the back problem. And to this day, a year later, I’ve still got a lot of pain with the back.
Once upon a time I could spend all day doing quite vigorous work, now I can only spend a short amount of time.
I’ve painted other sections of the house. That particular section, I think I’ve got post-traumatic stress syndrome from it. I haven’t been back there.
Every time you’re using a ladder, you’re taking a risk. Don’t let it come down to luck. If you think about it first, you can be safe.