An Australian woman warns travelers to think twice about getting on a scooter in Bali after she has suffered terrible damage to an "impulsive" trip that went badly wrong.
Childcare worker Ametyst Chrystal, 19, from Broome, had five facial fractures, a crushed knee jaw, exposed thighs, and tendons and ligaments tore herself off her bones after her crash in Canggu in July.
But she believes that her injuries could have developed into much worse – including possibly losing limbs – if her insurance company had not been able to cover her massive medical costs in a Bali hospital.
And she is just one of a number of Australians to be involved in serious scooter crashes in Bali this year, including those killed.
Amethyst, who has an Australian scooter license, said she was initially hesitant to drive a scooter in busy Kuta but thought Canggu, where it was quieter, would be safer.
"That said, I decided to just be impulsive and we staffed scooters," she told news.com.au.
"My friends and I have all licenses for scooters in Australia, so I did not think it was so risky."
But that was it. And when she drove arrows in the scooter with a friend, it collapsed into the side of a taxi that took off the road.
In addition to the bone damage, Amethyst struck a broken eye intestine and cheekbone and two bristles in her jaw.
"I had to go through eight-hour surgery to spot my facial fractures and to fix my ligament and tend to my knee with a needle and sew it up," she said.
"I had another surgery (later) in Perth to remove the pin from my knee.
"Because of my mandible fracture, I had my jaw attached with screws – two and two bottoms of elastic to keep it closed for 10 weeks, which means I had to drink through a straw and could not speak for four days while my swelling went down. "
Amethyst's insurance company 1Cover ensured that her mother and sister fled from Perth when she spent one and a half bed bound at Bali's BIMC Hospital – including during a series of earthquakes shaking the island, which was given to the hospital to be evacuated.
She said staff at the hospital "exceeded her expectations", but their expenses were high. All in all, the total cost of Amethyst was $ 62,000, including surgery, recovery and flight.
"We would not have been able to pay for any of the bills, just one night in the hospital was up to $ 25,000," she said.
"I would not have been able to get the surgery so it would be stranded in Bali, which could literally not return to Australia. I would probably have contracted infections and maybe even lost limbs if I was not seen by the incredible surgeons. "
Amethyst was eventually flown home in business class on a Garuda plane, but said it was a "scary experience".
"To be able to fly, I was obliged to sit for two hours without feeling nauseous," she said.
"To express how frightening this was for me – I could only get up for 15 minutes before I had to lay down again so I did not get up. I had my jaw attached so that the vomiting was extremely dangerous to my jaw and the risk of suffocation. "
Back in Australia, Amethyst continued to handle the fallout from the scooter race.
"I had many agreements back in Australia to check my bid was correct," she said.
"I had to get the screws removed from my jaw … I spent my time in Perth at the hospital every week with appointments until the end of September when I finally got my jaw inoperative. It was an extremely disturbing experience for me and I spent a lot of time depressed and worried about the situation. "
Amethyst said she was on a very slow road to recovery and should do physical activity every day to improve her injured knee.
And it has been more than enough to deter Bali scooter tours for good.
"I think renting scooters is risky and I would definitely not consider or recommend it in my experience," she said.
"It's dangerous to know that you're not in control, you can not guarantee that the other people driving around you will not cause an accident, as is the case in my case."
She also said she would never travel without insurance.
"I know many people think" it's just Bali, that's fine when Bali is actually somewhere you should not take the risk. It is so common for scooter accidents to occur abroad and you would not expect it to happen to you or someone you know, but it does and it can be fatal. "
This year there has been another horror year for Australians killed or injured on scooters in Bali.
Earlier this month, the Sunshine Coast man died Jacob Mabb one week after being abandoned by terrible injuries after crashing his scooter in Bali.
The 21-year-old surf coach crashed the scooter on November 25, suffering severe head injury that left him in coma.
In October, Perth's man Callan Jay Everts, 32, died when his scooter crashed into the Santo Paul church in North Kuta.
Sir. Everts, who was traveling with friends, died of head injury in Sanglah Hospital shortly after the accident.
And in August Sydney dropped Ollie Dousset his leg, but was lucky to escape with his life after the scooter he drove was hit by a cement truck in Uluwatu.
"We went mainly under the truck's rear axle," said Dousset.
"I got up and I saw my calf muscle on the ground next to the leg, and I just shot a bit of the leg into my hands and put it together. I remember just going to hospital, I have to come to hospital right now. "
1Cover's travel safety expert Richard Warburton said while cycling and scooters in Bali were risky, so were they Australian aggressive behavior towards travel insurance.
"We have figures showing that up to 40 percent of Aussies under the age of 25 do not take out travel insurance. This is despite the fact that we are dealing with over 100 cycling and scooter events worldwide, where over 80 percent of these come from Bali and Thailand, "he said.
"Bike and scooter accidents are so common and usually take place because of what we have made of the 7 Death Cycle Syndrome. Driving on poorly maintained roads, driving bikes that are unable to drive, ride without helmet, drive Without a proper license, do not obey road rules, choose badly lit roads and drive under the drunk. Yet only one of these can lead to a devastating accident. "
Sir. Warburton said travelers in Bali so often that the locals drove without helmets and were beaten into a false sense of security.
"They forget that people who have grown up in a particular environment are generally much more clever. And it's so easy for all, not just schoolchildren or young travelers to have a devastating accident," he said.
"People should ask themselves," will I do it at home? "If the answer is no, it's probably not the best idea abroad."