I was in an accident that broke my collarbone and ribs. It didn’t stop me from flying to Europe to see Taylor Swift.

Tayla Blaire was in an accident just weeks before the Taylor Swift Eras Tour and broke her collarbone.

I’m a long-time Swiftie and bought tickets to see her in Dublin during the Eras Tour. However, weeks before I was supposed to go, I was in an accident and badly injured.I was determined to see her, and doctors gave me the all clear. I had an amazing time.

I’ve been a Swiftie since 2007, so you can imagine my absolute euphoria at getting my hands on tickets to the Eras Tour. When I envisioned things that could go wrong — ticket issues, missed flights, dehydration — none of my imagined scenarios included an ambulance and surgery mere weeks before the show.

Taylor’s previous tours never came to South Africa, where I live, and the Eras Tour was no exception, with Africa left off the roster completely. However, for the first time, I could afford the splurge of making my way to Europe to join the tour there. My best friend and I decided to get the best tickets we could. We got VIP pitch-standing tickets for her June 30 show in Dublin, and we couldn’t wait.

Weeks before the concert, I was thrown off a horse

At the time of booking, the concert was almost a year away. Plenty could happen — and plenty did. I left teaching to go full-time with writing. My friend got pregnant and had her first baby. And then, with just weeks to go, I was thrown off a galloping horse on what was meant to be a scenic walking ride. I was left with a broken collarbone, broken ribs, and a massive hematoma in my right hip and thigh.

One of my first lucid thoughts in the ambulance, strapped into a neck brace as the medics initially feared a fractured C-spine, was that there was no way this tortured poet was going to make it to the concert. The reality of what those injuries might mean for the rest of my life hadn’t even set in yet.

Luckily, the angels are Swifties, too, and my spine was miraculously spared. Within 24 hours, I was transferred to Johannesburg, where I was operated on and left with a hefty piece of titanium securing my collarbone, which had shattered into three pieces. The hematoma was so painful I couldn’t put weight on my right leg. My broken ribs hurt when I breathed deeply or laughed. I had no clue how I would ‘shake it off’ and get to Dublin when I could barely get up the stairs in my home.

I did everything I could to recover and was given the all clear

Despite the pain in those initial weeks, my surgeons remained optimistic that I’d recover faster than I thought. With every rehabilitation and physiotherapy session, I made tiny gains. As the days passed, my mobility improved. And I was fanatical about doing everything I could to (safely) speed up recovery. I had a concert to go to.

Mere days before my flight was scheduled, I was given the tentative all clear. I could travel — with caution. To celebrate, I had an outfit made at the last minute. I hadn’t been keen on the frivolous cost of a custom concert look beforehand, but there’s something about narrowly avoiding a broken neck that makes you want to seize the day. And this day demanded tassels and sequins, with a little extra fabric to bedazzle my sling.

I was in pain during the concert, but I’d do it again

The concert was tough — we were lined up for six hours outside the venue, right after a three-hour train trip from Cork to Dublin. Then, we watched Paramore for an hour before the three-and-a-half-hour Eras Tour. Painkillers didn’t do much to dull my body screaming at me, but it was all worth it.

Tayla Blaire had a great view of Taylor Swift at the Eras Tour concert.

The rainbow of confetti, the heat from the fire, the eye contact with a woman whose music has narrated my life since I was 14 — I’ll never forget any of it. During the acoustic set, we didn’t even need the zoom on our phones; she was that close.

And in those moments, I felt invincible.

The Swifties around us were delightful. Throughout the concert, a stranger let me balance a hand on her shoulder while I stood on tiptoe to see Taylor. While it was a tight squeeze, no one shoved me in the hopes of edging closer for a better view.

There were times before the concert when I thought I was out of my mind to go. Now that it’s over, I’d do it all again. Taylor can do it with a broken heart — and I did it with broken bones.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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