Thursday, March 08, 2007

My thoughts are with Aussies plane-crash survivor, Cynthia Banham

About 5 years ago when I was mid-way through my MA in Journalism, an inspiring young woman - Cynthia Banham, who had done my course a few semesters before me came into our features writing class to give us an overview of what it was like to work as a real journalist.

She had transitioned from a fully practicing lawyer from freelance writer to a reporter on one of Australia's most respected newspapers - the Sydney Morning Herald. I followed Cynthia's work ever since, because I completely admired how she decided she wanted to be a journalist, and then worked her butt off to become one - on a top paper no less.

I happened to catch details of this week's horrific plane crash in Indonesia, and was absolutely shocked to read just now that Cynthia was not only on the plane, but one of the survivors. The news story reports how she managed to pull herself from her burning seat - despite having spinal injuries - and somehow roll herself to a nearby rice paddy into the water. She is in a serious but stable condition.

The article also talks about Cynthia's sheer determination to survive, and having seen just a smidgen of that determination when I met her after that lecture some 5 years ago, it's not surprising that if anyone could do it, Cynthia could.

My thoughts for a speedy recovery go out to Cynthia.


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