Cowgirl on road to 'unbelievable' recovery
THE "toughest cowgirl" in the Brisbane Valley continues to defy all expectations.
Four months after champion barrel racer Veronica Coulter was crushed beneath her own truck on the Ipswich Mwy, she returned home on crutches - a true accomplishment as doctors were initially unsure as to whether the Fernvale woman would ever leave hospital, let alone under her own steam.
"Pretty much everything down from my pelvis was crushed," she said.
"I wasn't supposed to make it... I've exceeded everyone's expectations, just in being able to move around."
Ms Coulter suffered 16 fractures and significant nerve damage in the crash on September 18.
She called 000 and her partner before two men were able to reach her to help, one of whom put his arm through a gap in the tyres and held her hand until emergency responders arrived. She did not wake in hospital until five days later.
"I have a lot of flashbacks and it's not very nice but... I really want to thank them, those guys," she said.
In hospital, Ms Coulter said she was surprised at how difficult it was to learn to walk again but quickly earned herself a fitting nickname - Miss Independent.
"When I went into rehab, I couldn't even bend my leg because of the knee that had been injured," she said.
"But I think I'm that stubborn and used to doing things for myself that I just kept trying, kept going from one piece of equipment to another."
Ms Coulter said she was happy to be home but was scared about having to cope home alone when her partner, Glen Smith, returned to work.
Mr Smith shared her concern and said he was trying to organise household help and company.
"It's a long road but we're all prepared for that and she'll get there," he said.
"We just want to say thank you to our family, our close friends and the new friends we've met through this."
Ms Coulter said, with more doctor's appointments and likely further surgery, it would be another year or more before she was riding again.
"Seeing my horses again, I don't really know how to describe it, but I suppose I just went back into my own little world again, with just me and my horse," she said.
"That's made me more determined than ever to get as far as I can."