Ebonny’s Story: the day my life changed forever

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Ebonny's Story
Camera IconEbonny's Story Credit: Supplied

Ebonny was just 28 years old when she was catastrophically injured in a motorbike accident in Perth, three years ago.

“My first conscious memory was waking up in the hospital and just not feeling my legs,” Ebonny said.

“Initially I just thought I was in a bad dream, but then I kept waking up and realised that things were really bad.”

On the day of the accident, Ebonny recalls feeling dizzy after arriving at a friend’s place to get her bike modified. They decided to go out for lunch, hoping it would help Ebonny feel better.

Disaster struck before Ebonny even made it past the corner.

“There’s no evidence of me trying to stop or brace myself with the impact and it looks as though I’ve just gone straight through the corner, off the bridge, cleared the water, landed on the bank on the other side and rolled down into the water,” Ebonny said.

“The injuries I received were very extensive. I had several life-threatening injuries simultaneously.”

After a week in hospital Ebonny was given the news that she wouldn’t walk again.

“There’s no easy way to hear that,” Ebonny said.

“I just knew my life would never be the same.”

Ebonny is one of almost two hundred West Australians who now receive care and support for the rest of their lives after being injured in a vehicle crash. The Insurance Commission’s Catastrophic Injuries Support Scheme was established in 2016 to provide lifetime treatment, care and support to West Australian motorists, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists who are catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle crash on our roads.

Two million West Australian motorists purchase motor injury insurance as part of their vehicle registration. The insurance premium collected is used to pay for the care require by people injured in crashes and to help them with their rehabilitation and recovery.

The cost of lifetime treatment, care and support is estimated at $4 million, on average, per person – for people who are catastrophically injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Insurance Commission of Western Australia Senior Care Coordinator Sue Reilly met Ebonny in hospital.

Working together, they identified Ebonny’s goals and helped her prepare for life after discharge from hospital.

“It’s about facilitating and enabling somebody to be able to direct their own journey,” Sue said.

“We’re not making the decisions for the person; we are just giving them the tools to make those decisions.”

With support from the Insurance Commission, Ebonny has had her home modified, enabling her to live independently. Her next goals are relearning to drive, returning to work and getting involved in an outdoor hobby like horse riding or mountain biking.

“At 28, I had no idea what a spinal cord injury was, or what it meant to not be able to feel or move my legs at all,” Ebonny said.

“It takes away your independence, and independence to me feels like freedom. But meeting Sue has taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.”

Motor injury insurance on your rego covers more than you realise. A catastrophic injury on the roads could happen to any of us. These types of injuries cost millions of dollars in medical fees, equipment and therapy needed for a lifetime. Visit the website to find out more.

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