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15 August 2018

For as long as Zoe has lived near the water, she’s been connected to life saving.

“Mum and Dad wanted me to be safe around the beach,” she says. “I grew up around the water at Brunswick Heads, in northern New South Wales, so surf safety just came as a natural progression.”

Surf life saving has become more embedded in her life as a sport and a volunteering activity. She competes in board and iron surf life saving events at both a state and national level. There’s a lot of training – running, general fitness and of course, swimming at the beach.

But a recent injury put a pause on her life saving career. Zoe had a hip labral tear, which stopped her being able to do most of her regular physical activity. As a result, she had to have keyhole surgery to repair the damage and get her movement back to full strength.

“It did hold me back,” she says. “But so far my recovery is going really well. It’s only been a short period of time but I can already feel the difference.”

It was a significant surgery for a 23-year-old. But the process, from seeing doctors and specialists, to having surgery and going through recovery, was made easier with My Health Record.

“It was really helpful in terms of the different doctors and health professionals that I had to visit,” Zoe says. “It allowed all my scans and records to be in the one place, so I could see what I had been up to and my health practitioners could see those records as well.”

For the love of sport

Zoe studied a Bachelor of Exercise Science at Griffith University on Queensland’s Gold Coast. The campus was near the beach and “just far enough” from her family home.

But the hour-long commute over state lines proved too difficult to do on a daily basis and Zoe decided instead to relocate to Burleigh Heads in Queensland. She recently finished her degree but still lives there, now with her sister who has started her own study.

It was a daunting move for someone straight out of high school, but it helped that Zoe was prepared. She found out about My Health Record by accident, after searching online for a way to store her health documents to make it easier to manage. Even before her injury, she found it useful to have all of her details in once place.

“Moving out of home and interstate meant I wasn’t visiting my family GP anymore,” she says. “But even though I was in a different location, all of my health records were available in one place.”

The travel bug

Now that Zoe has finished her degree she’s doing what lots of young Australians do – looking for her next adventure. 

“I love to travel. I have the travel bug at the moment,” she says. “I just want to see the world.”

After her recent injury, she’s relieved to know she has My Health Record to rely on no matter where she travels. If something happens, she can log onto her record and show the doctor her medical history.

“It’s handy when I’m out and about, not only in Australia but also overseas,” Zoe says. “I have my full medical history available at my fingertips. It gives me peace of mind.”

So where is Zoe off to next?

Right now, she’s not sure. But chances are, you’ll find her near the ocean.