Queenstown head injury victim’s miraculous recovery

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Four months ago, Queenstown man Jordan Sinke was fighting for his life after a vicious alleged assault. 

Now he’s out of hospital and soaking up the mountain air – hitting the snow this week at The Remarkables for the first time since his injury. 

Sinke, 27 this Monday, has made a miraculous recovery since being put into an induced coma after a blow to the head at Queenstown’s Subculture nightclub on January 21. At the time, he had a 10-12cm piece of skull removed to reduce brain swelling. 

The manager of Queenstown’s Dux de Lux bar returned to the resort two weeks ago and believes the shift from hometown Christchurch is helping his rehabilitation. 

“It’s good to be back and busy so I can leave the house and do a couple of missions,” he tells Mountain Scene. 

“In Christchurch I had to stay at home every day. It was really boring.” 

His speech is slightly slowed and he can’t feel the big scar on the left side of his head where 40 stitches once were, but Sinke’s made an 80 per cent recovery so far and expects to return to full health. 

“This sort of thing usually takes six to 18 months to get your talking back.”

“I’ve pretty much had to restart again,” Sinke says. 

Sinke doesn’t remember much about the night he got hit and is still struggling to come to terms with what happened. 

“I don’t know why. I know why – because it happened, but I don’t know why it happened. 

“I’ve played a lot of sport, including playing ice hockey for New Zealand and I have had injuries from that over the years but it’s weird getting this injury from another human.” 

Local bouncer Jonathan Dixon was arrested in relation to Sinke’s assault. He faces one charge of wounding with reckless disregard causing grievous bodily harm and one charge of assaulting Sinke’s friend Tom Beatson. 

Sinke, the son of well-known Christchurch publican and iconic Dux de Lux founder Richard Sinke, discharged himself after a month in hospital and has been keeping as active as he can ever since. 

He normally wears a helmet while snowboarding, despite being photographed without it. 

“I usually hit bigger features so it was a nice mellow start. 

“I take everything slow. It’s good getting back doing things that I usually do, but I’m being really careful with my recovery.” 

Sinke was up hitting Remarks’ terrain park features in the learners area with mate Jono Budd, who is also recovering from major surgery – he had six pins and two plates put into his right foot in January. 

“It’s good to see some pre-season snow,” Budd says. 

“It was a bit of fun and we didn’t push the limits. For me and Jordo, it was like testing the water, it was a bit of fun without getting injured.” 

Sinke has just returned to work for a couple of hours a day and hopes to be back full-time in another four months. 

“I’m just starting out at the moment doing 10 hours a week. If things work out then I’ll go up to 15 hours, then 20,” he says. 

“It’s good to be back.”