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Former Silver Fern Adine Wilson is lucky to be alive after breaking her neck in a fall at her home

“I'm grateful that I'm still here, that it wasn't my time.”

Former Silver Ferns captain Adine Wilson has revealed to Woman's Day that she broke her neck after a catastrophic accident. Almost 15 months later, the netball legend is fully recovered, but 38-year-old Adine knows she is lucky to be alive.

The North Shore mum-of-two – who is married to former All Black and New Zealand cricketer Jeff Wilson – was climbing down from a ladder at the couple's Mangawhai Heads bach on December 31, 2016 when she missed a rung and fell.

"I remember the sensation of falling," she says. "Then I hit the ground and when I went to get up, I couldn't move my right side."

Adine is consoled by her husband Jeff after the Silver Ferns lost their Netball World Championships final to Australia in 2007.
Adine is consoled by her husband Jeff after the Silver Ferns lost their Netball World Championships final to Australia in 2007.

The beloved sporting hero had fractured two vertebrae. She was rushed to hospital in Whangarei, then airlifted to Auckland for emergency surgery on New Year's Day 2017, a risky operation that took six hours.

Now with fading scars on the front and back of her neck, and a new lease on life, the former athlete tells Woman's Day, "I'm grateful that I'm still here, that it wasn't my time. I'm grateful that I can still boogie-board with the kids and meet my sister for coffee. I'm grateful that I had an amazing husband, and family and friends."

Adine, Jeff and their sons Lincoln and Harper in 2016.
Adine, Jeff and their sons Lincoln and Harper in 2016.

In three months of the accident, Adine was able to return to her part-time job as a lawyer.

Husband Jeff, 44, who never left her side after the accident and while she was in hospital, says he is in awe of how Adine coped. "Right throughout she remained calm. She's the strongest woman I know."

For the full story on Adine's accident and her recovery, see the latest issue of Woman's Day.

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