Julie's long, hard road to recovery
Name: Julie and Zach
On Christmas Eve, 2013, Julie drove out of her local supermarket car park thinking she was heading home to her husband Zach and teenage son James. But life had other plans. The next thing Julie remembers is waking up in intensive care. She had been involved in a head on collision, on a 100km per hour stretch of road, that probably should have killed her.
From there, it was nine months of fear and agony in Melbourne’s, The Alfred Hospital. To date, she has had more than 50 surgeries and has undergone intensive rehabilitation to repair her broken neck and dozens of other bones, a shattered pelvis, and the removal of a large section of both her back and stomach.
This driven and fiercely independent woman found herself completely dependent on others for every basic function. Such was the damage to Julie’s body, even her rehab carers baulked when she arrived. She was in the worst condition of any patient they had ever encountered, and they wondered how they were going to help this fragile, broken woman back to some semblance of vitality.
But, in a powerful testament to the endurance of the human spirit, Julie persevered and has put both her body and life back together from the carnage of that split second that changed everything forever.
Fortunately, Julie had income protection and trauma insurance in place long before the accident. Not realising, of course, that she would ever need it or how much it would help during the dark days of recovery where it fell to her loving husband, Zach, to not only support his wife, but to hold their world together outside of the hospital.
Knowing the mortgage would continue to be paid meant Julie and Zach could focus solely on the mammoth task of getting Julie well enough to come home.
Julie returned to work part-time earlier this year and has authored a book A Fractured Life, recounting the journey thousands of Australians take every year, recovering from horrific injuries following a serious accident.
Her greatest joy these days, she says, is simply the ability to walk.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst
It’s important to know your best options for protecting your family’s future in the event of unforeseen accident or injury. Speaking to one of our financial advisers can help you find peace of mind that you and those you love will be taken care of no matter what life throws at you.
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