‘Incredible’ Outback Employee Who Falls, Cheats Death, Returns To Work At El Questro
An employee at an outback resort stunned her colleagues by returning to work just four weeks after she nearly died falling into a waterfall.
- Doctors feared Lauren Cowie would not survive her injuries after the waterfall accident
- Ms Cowie attributes positive attitude to ‘miraculous’ recovery from coma
- Tourist worker praises her friends and colleagues who helped save her
Lauren Cowie works at El Questro in East Kimberley, a dream job for the 25-year-old who wants to pursue a career in tourism.
But in June, that dream almost came to an end on a relaxing day with his new co-workers at one of the resort’s attractions, Champagne Springs.
Ms Cowie was at the edge of the upper pool, located about three meters from the main waterfall, when she lost her footing.
“I slipped on some seaweed and slipped on the rock face which was a slight drop and then passed the edge,” she said.
‘Is it true? You shouldn’t speak ‘
Ms Cowie woke up from an induced coma a few days later at the Royal Darwin Hospital with no idea of the ordeal she had been through.
After a massive rescue effort involving emergency services, her friends, and El Questro workers, she was airlifted to Kununurra Hospital.
“Initially, when I was still in Kununurra, they were going to take me to Perth, but I was told that they didn’t think I would survive the duration of the flight.”
She was therefore airlifted to Royal Darwin Hospital, where doctors and her family feared for her life.
But then Ms Cowie amazed the medical staff by coming out of the coma and acting like herself.
Her friends with her on the day of the accident were by her side when she woke up.
“They are such amazing people,” she said.
“I was feeling tired and a bit weary… I was wondering when I could go back to work.”
“Friends are the reason I’m fine”
Ms Cowie’s wish came true four weeks after the accident, when she returned to her post at El Questro as a customer service agent.
She has come to love the land of the Red Gorges since leaving Victoria earlier this year and was eager to join her colleagues.
After recovering in Melbourne supported by her family, she returned to the Kimberley just days before the southern capital resumed lockdown.
Despite skull fractures and severe brain injury, Ms Cowie, who has been back to work for several weeks now, says she did not suffer from severe headaches or impact on her cognition. However, she has a faint, lingering ringing in her ear.
Her colleagues were surprised at how well she recovered.
“[They gave me] such a warm welcome… A lot of people didn’t expect me to come back this season at all, ”she said.
“I love the Kimberley, especially my co-workers and teammates. We really are like family.”
Ms Cowie said the hardest part of her near-death experience was knowing the emotional burden it had placed on her new friends.
“They are the ones who witnessed it,” she said.
“It’s good to have good news that I’m fine, but obviously it’s still a pretty traumatic event for everyone.
“The whole reason I’m fine, and in the state I am in, is because of all their hard work and effort to make sure I’m saved.”
“Nothing less than incredible”
For Mrs. Cowie, it’s almost impossible to say what caused her miraculous recovery, but it does indicate her optimistic attitude, a defining characteristic of her personality.
“You just enjoy the little things… I’m grateful to be here. I want to live my life in a positive way and pay it forward as well.”
G’day Group owns El Questro and its CEO, Grant Wilckens, praised staff rescue efforts and their support for Ms Cowie in the aftermath of the crash.
“Everyone has come together and Lauren is an absolute soldier,” he said.
“His recovery has been nothing short of amazing.
“She’s gone from a very difficult situation to something where I’m sure she reflects on her family and friends in Melbourne and she’s pretty happy where she is.”