ON MARCH 19 last year, Ian Weis's life changed forever.
The Maryborough man was involved in a serious crash on the corner of Alice and Russell streets when the scooter he was riding collided with a sedan.
The 74-year-old's heart stopped beating, but two nurses were in the car that had collided with his scooter and they were able to perform CPR and save his life.
But while his life was saved, the battle was just beginning for Ian, who had been left with extensive injuries.
Ian had fractured C2 and C3 of his spinal column, dislocated C4 and broken C5 and C6, which damaged his spinal cord.
He also fractured his back, ribs and had numerous other internal injuries.
Before the crash, Ian had always been very active, having worked hard his whole life.
He owned and managed Wanamara Quarter Horse Stud at Mungar for more than 30 years and he loved fishing and camping.
After the crash his family were informed that Ian would be a quadriplegic, with little hope he would move his fingers or toes again.
"We learned that this would change his life and our family's forever," Ian's niece Lesley Smith said.
While there were numerous setbacks, including infections, the loss of his ability to talk and complications from procedures, the family remained determined to maintain a positive outlook.
"Uncle Ian's determination, strength and courage has continued throughout and ever after just a few short weeks, a flicker of movement was visible in Uncle Ian's fingers," Lesley said.
Ian recently moved into a Special Mobility Chair, controlled by his chin and a sipper puffer.
The chair also has a hand control which nurses, carers, family, friends and Ian can operate, once more arm and hand function returns.
The past year has been a test of Ian's resilience, made harder by his separation from his beloved dog, Bitz.
The family has brought Bitz to visit Ian in hospital, but understandably he can't return to his old home.
Modifications have been approved for Ian's house, along with three permanent carers, which will allow him to return home.
His family has started a Go Fund Me page to raise money for a suitable vehicle that will allow Ian's carers, family and friends to take him to see doctors, specialists, a physiotherapist and on social outings.
While modifications to the house are being made and an automatic door was recommended, it was not included in modification funding.
The cost of a suitable vehicle is between $25,000 and $30,000, with a further cost of $5000 to fit a rear air conditioner into the back of the vehicle to help maintain a stable temperature for Ian.
The purchase of automatic doors will cost $10,000.
Lesley said it would mean the world to her family to see Ian come home after more than a year in hospital and be able to get around independently, adding that a vehicle and automatic doors would greatly improve the quality of Ian's life.
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