Jennie Ainsworth with her husband Peter near the road where she nearly lost her life.
Jennie Ainsworth with her husband Peter near the road where she nearly lost her life.

The long road to recovery

JENNIE Ainsworth is probably lucky she can remember nothing from the shocking smash which nearly took her life six months ago.

She suffered head injuries, a fractured right cheekbone, a broken left arm in three places and a fractured hip socket, not to mention cuts and bruises, in a head-on collision in Woolgoolga's notorious High Street on January 10.

The 45-year-old Woolgoolga mum is now on the mend, and she's particularly pleased Coffs Harbour City Council has moved to make the street safer following a concerted community campaign.

Jennie was taking her young daughter, Tara, and Tara's friend, Aleisha Benefield, to the pizza shop when a Magna crossed to the wrong side of the road into their path.

The Magna driver was later charged with high-range drink-driving.

Jennie's Hyundai slammed backwards into a parked car before coming to rest down the road, some 25 metres from the crash zone.

She was trapped for up to 90 minutes and placed in an induced coma at the scene.

The first thing she remembers is waking up in Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital, where she spent a week in intensive care, followed by five weeks of rehabilitation at Coffs Harbour hospital.

Aleisha was treated for head injuries at the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick, while Tara was taken to Coffs Harbour hospital with a broken left collarbone.

Jennie yesterday returned with her husband, Peter, to the accident scene, where yellow crash investigation outlines serve as stark reminders of that dreadful night.

"I think because I don't remember the accident, I'm really quite fine about it," she said.

"It's been a slow rehabilitation, not being able to put weight on my right leg."

She and Peter are grateful to the emergency service crews and residents who helped at the accident scene, so much so they recently held a thanksgiving service.

"We're very, very happy we've still got my wife and my daughter," Peter said.



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