Australian dance teacher on board SQ321 left paralysed from chest down


Kerry Jordan was left paralysed as a result of a spine injury which occurred when Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 struck turbulence on May 21. Here, she is pictured in the hospital with her husband Keith Davis. - MOIZ ESUFALLY/X

SINGAPORE: An Australian dance teacher who was on board Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight SQ321 will never be able to dance again after being severely injured in the spine on the turbulence-hit aircraft.

Kerry Jordan, 52, also told Adelaide-based newspaper The Advertiser that she cannot do all “the basic things” with her hands, such as feeding herself, brushing her teeth, changing TV channels and using her mobile phone.

“I think that’s the hardest, not being able to feel most of my body,” she told The Advertiser from the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Jordan had a break in her spine at the C7-T1 segment, which joins the neck to the upper back.

She also had a brain bleed, fractures of the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the top of the spine, and fractured ribs.

Jordan and her husband Keith Davis were returning from a holiday in the United Kingdom on May 21 when their plane experienced sudden extreme turbulence.

According to British media outlet Sky News, Jordan had returned to her seat and tried to put on her seat belt when the turbulence happened.

Flight SQ321 was heading for Singapore from London when the plane climbed and descended rapidly twice in 62 seconds over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar. One passenger died and dozens were injured.

The Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members made an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Jordan, who is a dance teacher at South Australia’s Mitcham Girls High School, said the incident was “absolutely violent”.

She said: “Literally everything just started shaking so much... All I remember was being up in the air and everything was absolutely silent and then I was on the floor.”

She was taken to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok for an urgent operation on a severe spinal injury and later medically evacuated to Adelaide.

News.com.au reported that she could not feel her legs immediately after the incident and had to remain on the floor for the rest of the flight.

Jordan, who faces months of rehabilitation, said she can move her arms but cannot use her hands.

Her husband told the Australian media that he is awestruck by his wife’s resilience.

He said: “It’s just inspiring. I don’t know how she wakes up every day and just gets on with it.”

In May, SIA apologised to the couple after Davis complained about the lack of information from the airline following the incident.

SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong met Davis and other affected passengers.

“We remain committed to supporting all passengers and crew members who were on board SQ321, as well as their family members and loved ones,” said the airline. - The Straits Times/ANN

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