16 December, 2022
Mum needs help after serious crash
LOCAL woman Donna Waring was doing her regular commute to her daughter’s home, not expecting that within minutes she would be rear ended and put in a critical condition by an impatient driver.
Donna was travelling along the Malanda-Millaa Millaa Road in her Toyota Echo on Monday 14 November at around 10.30am when she slowed to turn off the road into her daughter’s driveway at the Australian Platypus Park and Smokehouse Cafe when a Landcruiser attempted to overtake her and a following car and subsequently collided.
She was pushed 100 metres down the road from the collision and suffered a broken back, 14 fractured ribs, punctures in both lungs and other internal injuries.
“Like most Monday mornings I would always pop in and see my daughter or even pick her up on the way to Malanda to do some shopping and catch up,” Donna said.
“Coming from Millaa Millaa like I usually would, I was heading down the hill at 80km/h and slowing down as I was about to turn right into my daughter’s driveway which is also a business as well.
“A large grey four wheel drive out of nowhere decided to overtake me and another car that was behind me as I began to turn.”
Luckily Donna’s daughter Jade heard the crash from her home behind the Platypus Park and ran to her mother’s aid, keeping her conscious until the ambulance arrived and she was flown to the Townsville ICU.
Since then, Donna has undergone weeks of surgeries, treatments and rehabilitation and recalls the experience as one that turned her whole world upside-down.
She is now calling on the Department of Transport and Main Roads to reassess the road where the accident happened to lower the speed limit and make the section single lanes again.
Two major surgeries were performed in the week of the accident – an aortic heart stent due to an aneurysm in the main heart valve and a pedicle screw fixation for the broken thoracic vertebrae in her back.
“The surgeries took a lot of days to somewhat recover from. I also required blood transfusions and had to stay in the ICU,” Donna said.
“How (the surgeries) have helped me, well I guess I am alive, and I can walk. I might struggle and don’t have much movement in my back anymore and I have constant pain that never stops because of the metal screws and rods that have been drilled into my spine but that’s something I can’t change.
“As for the aortic stent in my heart, if I didn’t have that put in my heart valve then there is a high possibility, I wouldn’t be here telling you my story.”
Jade was horrified when arriving on the scene of her mother’s accident and remembers it as one of the most terrifying moments of her life.
“Seeing my mum hanging out the side of the car barely breathing was the most gut wrenching feeling I have ever or could ever feel,” she said.
“I was grateful she was still alive but holding her in the car and telling her how much I love her and how much her family needs her was the only thing that kept her conscious.
“I could not wait for the ambulance to arrive because I knew she was in a bad way.”
She immediately travelled to Townsville to be by her mother’s side while her partner Bec Barnes started a GoFundMe to help with the costs of treatment, accommodation and rehabilitation.
The goal is set for $20,000 and over $3000 has already been raised in a few short weeks, Jade said she had never felt more grateful.
“During this time of mum being in hospital I couldn’t even think of what to do next or how to help mum in the long run,” she said.
“My mum, my family and myself are so overwhelmed by the love and support we have had through this hard time and we thank the people that have donated.
“My mum isn’t one to ask for help, she is the one that would put everyone else before herself.
“We are grateful for more ongoing donations to be able to support mum not being able to work for a great deal of time, it’s honestly unknown whether she will ever be able to work again.”
Donna has now returned to the Tablelands where she will continue to rehabilitate with Jade and Bec by her side.
Jade hopes accidents like this can be prevented in the long run and is joining her mother and “the whole town’s” call to have the road reassessed and the speed limit reduced.
The GoFundMe for Donna’s recovery can be found here