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Diver’s ‘brush with death’ following minor coughing fit underwater

Melbourne diving instructor Kate Martin went on a standard ‘cray dive’ in Port Phillip earlier this year when she experienced what would have been considered a minor coughing fit if she was on land.

After the coughing fit Kate developed a “huge booming headache” causing an “insane amount of pressure” in her head.

She continued diving with her partner and two friends for 10 more minutes before realising she had developed poor vision and could not coherently communicate with her partner.

She was rushed to Rosebud Hospital.

The cough caused a “bubble in her head” and other symptom that initially indicated a stroke. Kate’s pain was later diagnosed by The Alfred’s Hyperbaric Medicine Unit as neurological decompression.

The incident has not deterred Kate’s passion for diving, after a six month doctors ordered ban, she has made a full recovery and is back to diving.

Kate insisted that her experience was a “totally random occurrence” and anyone who needs to cough whilst diving should definitely do so.

Listen to Kate’s full interview with Ross and John below.

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