Features, South Australia

Cranes and Crohn’s: TikTok’s latest viral series captures community’s heart

24-year-old TikTok creator’s unexpected bond with Hansen Yuncken construction crew proves to be popular on platform.

During her many extended stays at Adelaide’s Flinders Private Hospital, 24-year-old Jordy Lambropoulos makes TikToks about her experience with Crohn’s Disease.

She recently garnered a large online following after she formed an unlikely friendship with members of construction company, Hansen Yuncken, following a series of videos dubbed ‘Crane-tok’ filmed in her hospital room.

Jordy’s hospital room happened to overlook construction of the new Flinders University Health and Medical Research Building, which is being overseen by Hansen Yuncken and features multiple high-rise construction cranes.

“When I initially saw the view from my hospital bed I was pretty disappointed: I wanted a view of the courtyard or the city. However, that disappointment soon turned into open curiosity when I noticed the crane operators,” Jordy said.

“I said to my friend, “I wonder how they get up to the top of those cranes every day?” After some debate, I decided to take it to my TikTok audience hoping someone might know one of the crane operators, although I wasn’t holding my breath.”

Jordy got the chance to go out and learn more about the site and the wider industry.

The video captured the attention of Jordy’s online followers, and unexpectedly the wider community, racing to 20,000 views overnight and approaching 500,000 views a few weeks later. A few members of the Hansen Yuncken team found the video online and it quickly spread further.

“It was heartwarming to see Jordy’s videos. It’s a nice feeling to see that our everyday work is bringing someone joy and entertainment,” said Hansen Yuncken project engineer, Amelia Rosella.

With help from the hospital, Hansen Yuncken organised a team introduction and site tour for Jordy. Presenting her with a personalised hardhat and hi-vis vest.

“I was so excited when the team at Hansen Yuncken reached out to say they had seen my videos and wanted to show me around the site. I got to learn about some pretty interesting construction techniques and ended up jotting down a few key terms so I could Google them when I got back to my hospital room.

Jordy says the whole experience has been a wholesome and welcome distraction that has also helped raise awareness for Crohn’s disease.

“The public reaction has been phenomenal, I can’t make a video now without someone in the comments asking for an update on the cranes. It turns out I’m not the only one curious about the building works happening around us everyday.

The team gifted Jordy her own hard hat, hi-vis vest and flowers.

“At the start TikTok was a space for me to share my experiences, and the knowledge I had gathered over the years while living with Crohn’s. I don’t feel like the condition is talked about often enough, yet it affects so many young Australians. I want to be a voice for others, especially people my age, who are going through the same ups and downs. I’ll continue to make videos about my journey in the hope that I can help other young ostomates feel a little less lonely.

After her surgery, Jordan hopes to study medical science at Flinders University, with the goal of eventually becoming a doctor or surgeon.

“I might even have a few lectures in the very building that’s currently being built outside my window.”

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