Jude’s Bike Crash – have the Right Travel Insurance!

My wife Jude and I, with 10 friends 2 weeks ago started on what has become an annual European
Mountain Bike ride. This year it was iJuden Tuscany, Italy starting in Sienna and going for about 300 kms on back roads and in hilly terrain. Two days into the ride Jude had a serious bike accident.

Below is the story and sequence of events including her Medivac to London. As I say here, the importance of good Travel Insurance is paramount. Today and back in Australia, 10 days later Jude has made a great progress but full recovery will take probably another 12 months.

At about 10.15 on Monday the 20th May on a Bike Ride with friends in Tuscany Jude had a bad crash at speed coming down a fast hill on Bitumen. It appears that she overbraked and went over handlebars onto the bitumen on the left hand side of her face and front of her helmet. Her face was badly ripped and bleeding. She was unconscious for a minute or so and remembers nothing of the crash. It was near a small village where someone called an ambulance. Carolin Morahan kept her in a lying position and was talking to her until the ambulance arrived about 45 minutes later. Paramedic’s and the ambulance arrived, fitted a neck brace and checked vital signs. I went with the ambulance to the hospital in Siena about 40 kms away. This is a sequence of SMS’s over the next few days. Covermore Insurance was a terrific help and it made a big difference along the road to recovery.

Monday 20th May 2013

11.15am Matt and Jo
I’m afraid mums had a bad bike accident. She is ok but badly lacerated
around the mouth. Hopefully no bones but a lot of stitches. In hospital at Sienna now. Love dad

Guys at Sienna hospital. Jude seems about the same. Has morphine. Paramedic thinks all vital signs ok maybe cheekbone problem.

No news so far on Jude. Last was with physician who was reasonably positive. Ta Skroo.

Yes she has small haemorrhage inside cranium and outside brain. They need another scan and a small vertebrae fracture. Skroo in here 2 or 3 days at least.

She has just gone into surgery for stiches and the repair work. Suspect a couple of hours before finished. Then she has another CT scan for the intracranial bleeding. (Presume to see if it’s stable) thanks for your help. Skroo 


Pete we will be at least a few days so will need our gear and a twin
at themennervais for twin as Jo coming down if someone could organise.
Phone pretty flat may use Jude’s. Skroo


Been here in operating waiting room for over 2 hours. No one around at all but a passing cleaning lady told me it would be another 2 hours.

Carolin reception may give u some info on what’s happening? I am at op theatre waiting room on level minus one- no one here at all Skroo


Carolin just saw Jude . Groggy but looks pretty good in
comparison. Early days. In intensive care tonite. Thanks Skroo

8.30pm to10.15pm
Jo arrives from London picked up from Pisa airport by Chris and Liz. At 9pm Pete and I go to hotel so I can have a shower and to get out of bike gear. Back at the hospital at 9.40pm the surgeon briefs us (Carolin, Jo, me and Peter). He was pretty confident they had done a very good job.  The Operation took him and his team over 5 hours. Jo and I saw Jude at about 10.30pm to 11.30 pm. Face very swollen and left eye closed up but certainly an improvement on the pre-op look!! Jo and I got back to the Hotel at Midnight for a glass of wine.

Tuesday 21st May 6.50am
Everyone thanks on Jude’s behalf for all your best wishes. Also from
me Jo and Matt – shows how  highly thought of she is by all.  Its been
tough for us but nothing like for her. She has been v stoic and brave.
A brief update. Jude came out of 5 hours of surgery about 10pm last
nite. She was groggy and swollen but the surgery seemed v successful-
now mainly time.

A recap-Jude had a bad crash on her bike at speed on a downhill
bitumen road landing largely on her face and head. We don’t
know the cause. As well as severely lacerated face she had a small
fracture of a cervical vertebrae and an also small intracranial
bleeding. Again we appreciate your thoughts. Jude is still in
intensive care so best to send any messages to me for the next day or
so. We are very much hoping for a full recovery over the next few
weeks. Skroo Jo and Matt

11.30 Tuesday
At the hospital and can’t visit Jude yet but we have be been told by
some one that CT scan was ok so that’s positive. Skroo
Ps they will also keep Jude in intensive care until probably tomorrow

2pm Tuesday
Guys wont make it this Arvo. Ended up too late. Will pick up bikes
probably early tomorrow . Can u leave them and bags at hotel? Thanks

To all. Jo and I saw Jude just now. She is in good spirits. Wants her
iphone. Still in ICU (probably move tomorrow) and face swollen but
looks like surgeons did a good job. Can now see out of left eye. Main
medical issue now seems to be the cracked cervical vertebrae and a
loose maybe cracked tooth, maybe broken Finger. CT transverse scan
showed no facial bone breaks and intracranial bleeding seems no issue.
We’ll be back at 6pm. Skroo

6.50am Wednesday
Pete Carolin
There is a chance Jude will be medivaced to UK so I’ll keep you in
the loop. Also not sure about bikes then. Ta Skroo

Steve at Covermore
Ros and Carolin This is latest from Steve at covermore. Can u pass on? Skroo

Hi Skroo, I am waiting for a conference call with the treating medical
team. I will address those issues. What are your thoughts on an early
air ambulance transfer to the UK? Could I confirm your house is in
London? In the interim I have asked that we get a private English
speaking nurse to attend to Jude.  Regards Steve

Chris can you send me Liz’s number? We have to store bikes at Garage
Busi in Viale Curtatone. I will meet her there. Skroo

Riders update
1. Air ambulance taking Jude and Jo out of Siena at midday tomorrow Thursday.
2. Jude more comfortable and happy to be going
3. Just met with head surgeon. He is quite proud of his work and I
suspect he should be. Took 5 hours and joining nerves vessels micro
surgery etc.
4 apparently he has a before shot and now wants an after shot in 6 months.
5. I am out on BA at 1.15pm with 2 bikes and plenty of bags.
6. Jude will need another CT scan in a week to check brain bleed and
neck brace for a week or so.
7. Thanks for the interrupted company and the bikes- clearly Carolin
didn’t pack them! Enjoy rest of ride. We r very envious but I think
very lucky in a way. Could have been worse-much worse. Thanks Jude Jo Skroo

Thursday 9am Peter Edwards CEO COVERMORE
Skroo, it’s our pleasure. I am sure that Jude will be looked after
well today and in London. Any issues, let me know. Best regards, Peter
Sent from my iPhone

11am to JAW
Fine Jo flew down Monday nite. Chris and Liz picked her up from Pisa
and she was great to have here- much more useful than me. Skroo

Friday 24th May
To all,
Jude will almost certainly come home this morning in London and we
will probably fly back to Australia on Wednesday night getting in
Friday morning.

Her face is improving day by day but still swollen and discoloured and
weeping, The non dissolvable stitches will come out next week.

The subdural bleeding seems to be ok. She has 6 cracked/fractured
vertebrae of which one in her Lumbar region is giving quite a lot of
pain in the back and  down one leg. The C5/6 vertebrae requires now a
lesser neck brace. She is getting a back brace for the lumbar /leg

Thanks everyone on Jude’s behalf  for your concern

This entry was posted on by .

About Skroo Turner

Graham 'Skroo' Turner was raised near Stanthorpe, and trained as a veterinary surgeon. In 1973, he and two mates bought a couple of double-decker buses in England and began a holiday travel company, Top Deck Travel.

10 thoughts on “Jude’s Bike Crash – have the Right Travel Insurance!

  1. Kenny Koala

    Thoughts with you Jude, you are one tough lady. Think of the dinner party stories that you now have.
    Get well soon….all the best….Kenny Koala

  2. Leta Marsden-Huggins

    I was so sorry to hear about Jude’s painful accident and sent a message at the time

    I hope she is recovering well and I am able to give any help needed. Company, shopping, reading – whatever

    With love


  3. Sally Wilson

    So glad to hear Jude you are back and recovering now in Brisbane. Our thoughts have been with you since Yana alerted us of your terrible accident. Get well and be kind to yourself. Mike & Sally xx

  4. Hersh Singh

    Get well soon wishes to Jude and great to hear that you are back in Brisbane with commendable
    recovery! And prompt assistance provided by Covermore insurance staff.

    All the best, get well to get back in the swing soon!

  5. Tudor

    Jude, you are one tough cookie! Amazing recovery already! Great to see you yesterday, great to see you looking so well already.

  6. Susana Rodriguez

    Wow, thank goodness Jude was wearing a helmet. We hope she has a speedy recovery and our thoughts are with Judy and your family at this time

    Love the FCm Singapore Family


    We hope your wife is feeling much better!! What a strong woman! Well wishes to you and Jude from GOGO! xoxo

  8. Wombat Ettridge

    Hi Skroo and Jude, We were very sorry to hear about your accident, hope everything is now healing well. Time is the best healer. Wombat ( Greg ) and Pam Ettridge

  9. Brendan and Val Black

    Just saw this news now, about Jude’s accident, shocking, but the good news seems, the best that could have been done has been done and Jude is on the way to a good recovery we pray! Get well soon Jude.


Leave a Reply to Wombat Ettridge Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>