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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Survivor to stay 'where she belongs'

Survivor to stay 'where she belongs'

Last updated 05:00 30/03/2011
One of the faces of Christchurch's earthquake, Jane Taylor, has vowed not to abandon her city.

Taylor received life-threatening injuries when she was struck by debris while trying to flee from her City Mall workplace.

She has spent the past six weeks in Wellington Hospital.

Taylor arrived back in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon.

"It is a little scary to think we may have aftershocks to feel again, but it feels right to come home," Taylor said.

"This is where I belong."

Taylor and her husband, Shaun, plan to show their commitment to Christchurch by signing The Pledge, a community project to support rebuilding.

"We will be staying. We won't abandon the city when it needs its people," Shaun Taylor said.

"It's our duty to stay here and rebuild the city."

Jane Taylor wants to contact the people who helped save her life on February 22.

She wants to find the man who dragged her out of the rubble, the lifeguard who took the shirt off his back to cover her facial wounds, and the policewoman who drove through the chaos to get her to hospital.

"I was at the hospital just over an hour after the quake and, in those circumstances, it is pretty unbelievable," she said.

"I want to say `thank you' to all of them. `Thank you for saving my life'."

Taylor has been told it will be another four weeks before she will be able to try to walk again.

"I'm still myself, even though I am very incapacitated," she said.

"There is no point getting overwhelmed in the frustration; it is what it is.

"I can't change what has happened to my body, I just have to live through it."

Taylor was working in the women's fashion store TS14+ when the earthquake hit.

She said the company had been incredibly supportive. It had even replaced the green dress she was wearing on February 22, which was cut from her when she arrived at Christchurch Hospital.

From the rubble and pain a friendship strengthens

Seeing Jane Taylor for the first time since February 22 brought back a freight train of emotions for me.

Sitting beside her hospital bed yesterday, we pieced together the day that no Cantabrian will forget.

I remember finding Jane, a close family friend, in the chaotic aftermath of the magnitude-6.3 earthquake.

She was sitting, unrecognisable, in the ruins of the City Mall as bodies were dragged out of the rubble around her.

She has a vivid recollection of the day, right up to the moment she lost consciousness.

Though her face is disfigured and many bones are broken, her spirit remains – with a fierce loyalty to Christchurch.

Seeing her laugh and smile again is enough to show that this broken city also can heal.

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