REAL LIFE

Hit by a freight train but I walked for my wedding!

Jennifer was determined that a horrifying accident wouldn’t stop her doing anything.
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Heading out of the house, I said goodbye to my fiancé. Jake, 19, and I had become engaged a few months earlier after meeting at school and now we lived on my parents’ farm together.

‘It should be a nice cruisy day,’ I told him.

I was only going to help my dad, Paul, bail some hay. There’s a private railway crossing on the land so Dad went over it first in his tractor. Checking it was clear, I edged over afterwards on mine. The next thing I remember is hearing voices all around me.

‘You’ve been in an accident,’ someone said.

From the pain I was in, I knew something terrible had occurred but I didn’t know what.

‘I’m here,’ Jake said.

Over the next few days, I had surgery to drill a metal brace into my shattered pelvis. Slowly, I learned what had happened.  As I’d crossed the railway line, a freight train had come around the corner and smashed right into me.

Weighing 1000 tonnes, it ripped my tractor in two. Given a tiny five per cent chance of survival, I was lucky to be alive.

jennifer
(Credit: Supplied)

My ribs, tailbone, pubic bone and foot were all broken. Almost every organ had been punctured, my bladder was torn and my right lung had collapsed.

It was a miracle I was still here and it made me even more determined to recover.

After a few weeks, I was allowed home and when the brace came off, I threw myself into physio. Because I was so weak from lying down, I relied on a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again.

Twice a week, Jake drove me to the swimming pool and I’d stride up and down in the water to build strength.

Two years after the accident, I could finally walk properly again.

‘How about we look into getting married now,’ Jake grinned.

We arranged a beautiful outdoor wedding, and three years after my accident, Dad walked me down the aisle.

jennifer
(Credit: Supplied)

I was overjoyed I didn’t have a limp and even happier to be marrying Jake.

He’d supported me throughout everything and the accident had brought us closer together.

In October this year, I decided to push myself even further.

wedding

‘I’m going to do Outward Bound,’ I told Jake.

It’s a 21-day challenge – rock climbing, kayaking and camping in the bush.

Despite still being in pain, I wanted to prove to myself that I could physically do it.

Scaling walls blindfolded and tramping across treacherous terrain, I felt so proud. When I finished the course, I was given a certificate for my courage.

It’s amazing to think I survived being hit by a freight train and now I’m climbing mountains! I won’t let the accident hold me back.

Read the full story in this week’s issue of that’s life!

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