Woman who jumped from hospital diagnosed with MS
The woman who jumped from the first floor window of Gisborne Hospital was yesterday diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Waikato Hospital.
Last week Jodi Malcolm, 32, suffered a broken back and two broken ankles in the four metre fall and spent almost a week in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Waikato Hospital.
She has now been moved to the orthopaedic ward.
Her partner Nicky Loftus said they were now ready to share their names and their story.
Jodi was in Gisborne Hospital last week when she had an adverse reaction to a large amount of steroids given to her for her symptoms at the time. Steroids are used to manage MS symptoms, although there had been no clear diagnosis that's what it was until yesterday.
Nicky said Jodi does not remember jumping.
Jodi, who used to be an employee of Hauora Tairawhiti, will make a complaint against the district health board after she was left unattended, in an erratic state because of her steroid reaction, and managed to unscrew a loose latch on a Ward 5 window and jump out.
Nicky said the MS diagnosis was a bit of a relief. After a series of tests that included lumbar punctures, MRIs and blood tests it was good to have a clear diagnosis, she said.
A neurologist at Waikato Hospital was able to piece together results and give Jodi the diagnosis of MS.
“This is what it is and we can properly learn how to manage that now in the future, we can figure it out.”
“Treated properly you can lead a good life with MS.”
Jodi has had surgeries on her spine, and on one of her ankles, at Waikato Hospital. She has casts on both her feet but was working out how to transfer herself from a bed to a wheelchair, said Nicky.
It had taken two-and-a-half years to get to this diagnosis after Jodi had her first MS episode in July 2018.
Nicky's daughter Ocean-Jade Cole, 9, Jodi's stepdaughter, has been staying with family until the couple can return home to Gisborne.
Nicky said the whole experience had made her more compassionate and understanding.
“You really don't know what's going on in other people's lives — be kind, flash them a smile, it's contagious.
“The only thing I would say to the negative comments we received is that unless you're in our shoes, don't judge.”
The couple are looking forward to getting home, “Home is where the heart is,” said Nicky.