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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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