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Life changing consequences from decision to jump on the back of a ute after drinking


Life changing consequences from decision to jump on the back of a ute after drinking

"I think it's only now, two years on, that I'm fully appreciative of the impact it has had and aware of the differences in my life because I was so stubborn thinking everything was fine and that I was fine and great and even now when I look back - we had our wedding nine months after the accident but I try to think back to the actual day and I can't remember [it] because my memory's so bad."

Nick Lonie, 35, is one of the lucky ones.

Two and a half years ago, he and a mate made the fateful decision to jump on the back of a ute following a night of drinking at the pub.

As the ute accelerated around the corner, both men fell off.

His friend died, and doctors weren't sure Nick would survive.

His now-wife Eve was in Bali planning the couple's wedding when she got a phone call from a friend to say there had been a terrible accident.

An emergency doctor herself, Eve was told by colleagues to prepare for the worst.

"Nick had a fractured skull which had then shorn off one of the arteries that the skull is attached to which then bled into his brain and he'd gone into theatre to have the big blood clot evacuated but they couldn't stop the bleeding," Eve explains.

"Luckily with just transfusion of blood products and a bit of time the bleeding stopped itself and then it was just a case of waiting to see if he was going to wake up and how he was going to wake up."
It was a scary time for Eve and she could not bring herself to examine her fiancé's medical scans for fear of what she might see.

"[At work] I see a lot of these people wake up very, very badly," she said.

"It's very rare that you see somebody wake up without an impairment or significant disability, [at least] immediately anyway.

"Which is difficult because I don't see them down the line so they might recover much better, [but I don't get to see that.]"

The Nick that did eventually wake up bore little resemblance to the man she was engaged to, but after months of rehabilitation he's made a remarkable recovery.

But as is the case with acquired brain injuries there have been lasting effects.

"It has had a variety of impacts whether it be [my relationship with Eve], what Eve has had to deal with, or the way I'm now impulsive and a bit indecisive," Nick said.

"I do tend to get a little bit over-analytical now because I think 'oh right is this because of the situation of my life or because of the head injury?' and I don't want to use the head injury as an excuse."

References and further information

This article was originally produced by ABC News.


To view the rest of the article visit the ABC News website 


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