Wedding Photographer

Marriage disaster: Husband was able to speak to his photographer wife moments after Christchurch helicopter crash

New Zealand

Photographer Rachel Jordan was injured in a helicopter crash in Canterbury on Saturday. Photo / Givealittle

Eric Jordan was able to speak to his wife Rachel moments after the helicopter she was riding crashed into a Canterbury golf course, leaving her with a series of injuries including spinal injuries and fractures .

“I told him that everything would be fine and that we would be okay with it,” he told the Herald tonight.

The helicopter was also carrying the newlyweds Fay El Hanafy and Mahdi Zougub, whose wedding day it was.

The award-winning photographer was traveling with the couple to do a photoshoot for the bride when the helicopter they were riding on crashed on Saturday at Terrace Downs Resort in Windwhistle, 50 miles west of Christchurch.

El Hanafy underwent surgery on Sunday after suffering a broken back, foot and legs. Zougoub also has a fractured spine and was scheduled to undergo surgery today.

Eric said Rachel was concerned her back might be broken when they spoke on the phone right after the crash and before emergency services arrived.

“I heard… a lot of screaming in the background that I assumed was the bride and groom and the pilot, who had also been injured.”

Rachel had given her husband’s number to someone there who had called him for her.

Debris littered the crashed helicopter.  Photo / George Heard
Debris littered the crashed helicopter. Photo / George Heard

“I just had the chance to reassure her while we waited for the rescue team.

“I had a few words with her… then I heard that the ambulance and the rescue teams had arrived, so they took her away and I just said goodbye then.

“I think she passed out during part of the accident. She couldn’t remember the exact moment he collapsed, she remembers just before and right after. I’m pretty sure the bride got away. is also passed out. “

Rachel had her second surgery today, to repair damage to her feet and ankles.

She has spinal fractures, five fractured ribs, a lung laceration, a broken sternum, a broken arm in a few places, and fractured feet and ankles.

“She told me that she remembered that the engine had shut down at one point, that it had completely lost power in the air, and it seemed like everything had shut down.”

The helicopter crashed near a sandbox on the Terrace Downs Resort golf course in Windwhistle, Canterbury.  Photo / George Heard
The helicopter crashed near a sandbox on the Terrace Downs Resort golf course in Windwhistle, Canterbury. Photo / George Heard

Rachel has a great fear of flying and was nervous about flying south to Northland for the wedding, Eric said.

The couple moved from the United States to New Zealand in 2015 to live in Northland.

“She was actually scared to get on a plane before going to the wedding. She had to fly from the Bay of Islands to Christchurch, so she was scared of that flight.

“But it turned out it was the helicopter that was the big deal.”

Eric was told to “settle in for a long trip”, Rachel is expected to be hospitalized for three months.

He says he’s just trying to keep her as positive as possible.

“I know a big part of the healing process is about hope, so I’m just trying to give that to her. That’s all I can do, [giving] give him as much hope as possible right now. “

A small page meant to raise funds to support Rachel’s recovery says.

Subscribe to Premium

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.