On one beautiful morning in early spring 2009, my friends and I headed to Blue Mountain, an amazing mountainous region located in Melbourne, Australia. We were all prepared for a lovely relaxing trip and could never predict what would happen in just a few hours, - a moment that would change my life forever.
It was a beautiful hot sunny weekend, the best one in a few last months and good enough for having a picnic with friends. No sooner said than done. In a few hours we were driving on a narrow spiral road to get to the top of the Blue Mountain. Finally, before we could bat an eye, we got to witness some of the most picturesque sceneries in our lives. We were so amazed at what we’ve seen that immediately decided to dip into this astounding nature. Just in a moment we divided into three groups: a few of us went for hiking, some volunteered to make a great barbecue and the rest decided to walk around and take pictures.
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We were all having a great time doing lots of funny activities, eating one of the tastiest lunches one could ever have in the wild, and being grateful for having each other’s company. We were so infatuated with everything that was going on around us that forgot to be aware of many troubles that could arise out of the blue…
It was very exciting, though awfully long day and it made us terribly exhausted. And our fatigue was getting even more severe on acknowledging the fact that there would be another two-hour drive to get back home. I was, actually, too tired to drive my own car and asked Bob, my friend’s husband, to drive. To have at least a little rest, Anita and I decided to sit in the back seat and catch forty winks. I fell asleep in a few minutes but all of a sudden, I heard a strange noise, - Anita’s scream. And silence. Horrifying, almost deadly silence. Very strange silence. This is all I remember. That was merely the beginning of the changes that were going to happen in my life.
I lost my memory and could not remember anything. Later, people told me how it happened: I was sleeping on the back seat and Bob, who was really excited of driving down on the very narrow and spiral Blue Mountain road, was speeding up gradually without thinking of how dangerous this could be. Then, in a second, he lost control and swerved out to the opposite lane, while passing a dangerous curve, where a SUV was heading towards us.
Bob had less than a second to make a decision. He turned the steering wheel left to avoid hitting the SUV. And then boom… He crashed the car into the rocks. I was thrown out of the car and fell right on a cairn.
Doctors said it was a miracle that I was still alive. I woke up after five days of being in coma without remembering anything. Thank God, nobody else was injured. I still had no idea what had really happened to me until one day I noticed I could not feel my left leg… and could not move it at all! To be honest, I got very scared when the doctor said that I needed to get ready to deal with bitter awful truth that can turn my future life into the nightmare.
Time was passing by and minor injuries on my arms, chest and shoulders were quickly healing. But, to my deep regret, nothing had changed with my leg; the pain was only becoming worse. Later, I was told that my left knee bones were almost totally crushed and the only solution, offered after several meetings with the specialists, was to do some surgeries on my knee with 50 % chance of success. It meant that they would have to cut off my leg if the surgeries were not successful. Another option was to apply the latest available medical methods, which had not been proven to work effectively enough, hoping that there would be a higher chance for full recovery. They let me choose between the two. I had to take all responsibilities if I were to choose the second option; the thing that I ultimately did…
I was told that I would have to endure a quite long treatment, which could last for more than a year, and that I had to be patient with all the pains, medications and their side effects. The die was cast. It was not easy at all to deal with the horrible pain of injections in my knee for a whole year, all physical therapy sessions, drugs, gaining up to forty pounds as one of the side effects and many other things. However, even more challenging was to stay motivated and full of hope, trying to study at the same time.
For the first couple of months my mood was changing all the time and, unfortunately, only for the worse. I was extremely aggressive and did not want to see or even talk to anyone. I knew I was hurting my beloved ones and myself, but nobody could understand what I really felt. Deep changes were affecting my world, ideology and thoughts.
It took me fifteen months to achieve full recovery. I still cannot believe how lucky I am. There is nothing wrong with my knee anymore, except for some minor scars from which I am going to get rid of after my physical therapy sessions. Nevertheless, my entire world has changed because of those frustrations I have being suffering from. Now I see the whole concept of life from a different perspective.
For many days, I have been thinking about humans and all our selfishness, our greed, artificially created wars, poverty and hunger. Everything on our Earth is done to gain more power and wealth. However, in reality, our miserable shaky existence can end in a blink of an eye; the problem is we just do not understand that. Supposedly, all these people knew they were going to die less than in a second, would they still act against themselves and others? Would they still be the major cause of all the disasters on our planet?
Now, two years after that nightmare, I am still sometimes wondering how one moment can change your life forever. Since this terrible accident, I have been working for human rights NGOs trying to act effectively in a hope of seeing people, who actually care for each other; in a hope of being, standing and living as a human… Because it is better not to live at all, than to live just like we do!