I was travelling south on the bruce highway, approaching the maroochydore exit with my three kids in the car. Steve was away for work. Out of no-where, the car in the next lane merged into us (I didn’t think it was happening), and before I knew my car was pushed sideways, off the road and down the embankment, rolling, bouncing before finally colliding with a tree and coming to a violent stop some 8-10m off the road.
I was terrified. The children were screaming in the back and the car was crumpled all around me. I was trapped. I can’t imagine how the children were feeling, but being stuck in that car was the worst moment of my life. I could not feel my legs, and I was in pain everywhere else. I had no idea how badly the children had been injured. Eventually, after what seemed like a lifetime, I was cut from my vehicle still with no feeling in my legs – I was in a panic. The ambulance took all of us to Nambour Hospital. Thankfully the kids were okay, they only had minor injuries – a fact I am thankful for every day.
I was assessed, and upon confirmation I’d sustained a severe spinal injury, I was flown to Royal Brisbane Hospital for specialised spinal surgery. Next I was transferred to the PA Hospital’s Spinal Injury Unit on 21.05.12 where I underwent specialised inpatient spinal injury rehabilitation over the next agonising 2 months. I was separated from my family and friends for this entire period until discharge on 25.07.12. That is nearly 2 months of my life stuck in a hospital, worrying about my family.
I have no idea how Steve coped. He had to take leave from work to deal with everything at home. He did eventually get back to the mines, but in the end it just was too hard. Eventually, he resigned and obtained a position as a mechanic close to home. He is unable to return to the mines as I cannot do without him at home.
At the time of the accident, Briana was 9, Jayden was 7 and Heidi was 2. They were terribly shaken by the ordeal, as you can imagine. They still deal with the memories and lasting impact of the accident: what it did to me and what it was like for them. It changed all of our lives forever.
I continue to suffer from ongoing bowel and bladder difficulties, severe pain back, bilateral lower limb paraesthesia and weakness with loss of sensation in both feet. All this as well as psychological symptoms and ongoing sleep disturbances.
Faran and Heather and the rest of the team at Gouldson Legal really understood our issues. Nothing was too hard, nothing was too much. They were by our side through the whole process. For you, with you, is the firm’s tag line, and for us that certainly was the case.
My claim was resolved at the compulsory conference stage, and we could not be happier with the outcome.
The settlement gives us a chance to move forward with our lives with financial stability and certainty.
Thanks Gouldson Legal, Faran and Heather.