A THRILL-SEEKER who was thrown from a fairground ride got back on again and then went to work the following day - completely unaware that she had broken her neck.
Jodie Madin, 24, was catapulted from the Tagada ride at a fairground in Doncaster, which spins around and is tilted up and down.
Passengers sit along the inside of a wall, but there are no seat belts or straps to restrain people.
Miss Madin was thrown up in the air and landed on her head in the middle of the metal enclosure, smashing her fifth vertebra.
Her friends said it was “the funniest thing they had ever seen” and Miss Madin laughed it off before getting back in her seat.
She finished the ride unaware she had a broken neck and, the following day, did a six-hour shift at work.
But after two days she began to feel pain and went to hospital, where doctors diagnosed a fracture of the fifth vertebra on her spine.
Stunned medics told her she could have been paralysed following the incident at Bentley Park.
Miss Madin, from Scawthorpe in Doncaster, said: “You’re supposed to hold on to the bars behind your head but, when it’s in motion, the workers operating it tell you to put your hands up in the air and then bounce the carriages up and down along to the music.
“I bounced off the seat a few metres into the air at a vertical angle, did a little flip and landed on my head on the metal floor in the centre of the ride.
“They stopped the ride and asked if I was alright but, because I was a bit embarrassed about it, I put my thumb up and they just told me to get back on the seat.
“My neck and my head were really painful but everyone was watching me and I was in shock so I got back on my seat and they set the ride off again.
“My friends were all laughing saying it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.
“They felt terrible for laughing when they saw me in bed with a neck brace a few days later.”
The day after the incident, Miss Madin woke up with a stiff neck and took painkillers, thinking it might be whiplash.
She then did a six-hour shift as a cleaner at town centre bars.
She said: “When I woke up the next morning my neck was really stiff and sore, but I had to quickly get ready for work so I didn’t have much time to think about it.
“At work my boss suggested I had whiplash because of the way I was walking.
“I had been thrown forward by quite a force, so it made sense that I had whiplash.”
The next morning Miss Madin could not lift her head from the pillow and went to hospital, where medics immediately put a collar around her neck.
A scan then showed part of the fifth vertebra had broken off and three others were bruised.
She said: “When I woke my upper body felt paralysed to the bed and I knew something was seriously wrong.
“When I got some feeling back in my body I drove myself up to the hospital because I still didn’t think it was as serious as it was.
“At the hospital the doctor said I must have hit my head at some force.”
Miss Madin was immobilised in hospital for three days and was told to wear a collar for at least six weeks.
She said: “I’ve been very lucky. It’s scared me to death, what might have happened to me.
“I used to love roller coasters but I think I’ll be steering clear from now on.”
The Health and Safety Executive has launched an investigation into the accident.
Stuart Robinson, of Robinson’s Funfairs, said: “All I can say is that it has been reported to the HSE and our insurance company.
“It is up to people using it to sit down and not mess about.
“Plenty of these rides are operating and this one is in first-class condition.”