Teresa de­ter­mined to prove her Point

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - SHAUN McMANUS

“I’M get­ting busy liv­ing,” Teresa Banks says as she pre­pares to tackle the Point to Pin­na­cle with the help of nearly 100 sup­port­ers af­ter be­ing crit­i­cally in­jured in a freak ac­ci­dent last year.

Ms Banks, 49, of West Ho­bart, was on her hon­ey­moon in Italy with hus­band Peter Col­houn when a wild deer ran across a down­hill stretch of road and knocked her off her bike.

She ploughed head­first into the road and was fight­ing for her life for three weeks. Eigh­teen months later, and still in re­cov­ery, she is de­ter­mined to walk, sup­ported, across the fin­ish line at the top of the moun­tain.

Ms Banks said it would mean “ev­ery­thing” to her to walk across the line.

“Never, never, never give up on what you are about to achieve,” Ms Banks said.

Mr Col­houn said Ms Banks was mede­vaced back to Aus­tralia a month af­ter her ad­mis­sion to hospi­tal in Italy and re­turned to Aus­tralia in a coma.

“The prog­no­sis for her re­cov­ery when re­turn­ing to Ho­bart was very, very poor,” Mr Col­houn said.

She spent nine months in the Royal Ho­bart Hospi­tal and the Acute Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Unit, and her re­cov­ery has de­fied all ex­pec­ta­tions.

Mr Col­houn said he was “enor­mously proud” of his wife’s at­ti­tude.

“When she re­turned to Aus­tralia, all she could do was move her left in­dex fin­ger ever so slightly,” Mr Col­houn said.

“She’s had to learn to open her eyes, move her eyes, swal­low, sit up, be able to stand, and then stand sup­ported.”

Ms Banks now suf­fers post-trau­matic am­ne­sia. She learns new skills by mus­cle mem­ory as much as any­thing, be­cause she does not have a short-term mem­ory func­tion.

Ms Banks was a reg­u­lar ex­er­ciser be­fore her in­jury, and she is de­ter­mined to be­come an in­de­pen­dent walker again, prac­tis­ing every night.

Mr Col­houn com­pleted his fourth Point to Pin­na­cle while Mrs Banks was in hospi­tal last year, and the cou­ple set a goal to take part this year, as­sem­bling a team of 90 friends and sup­port­ers for next Sun­day’s event.

Each mem­ber of the team will have the op­por­tu­nity to help push Mrs Banks’ wheel­chair to the pin­na­cle, be­fore wit­ness­ing her ei­ther walk, sup­ported, or push her own wheel­chair across the fin­ish.

She will be us­ing a wheel­chair bor­rowed from Just Like Jack — a char­ity cre­ated by the fam­ily of Launce­s­ton child Jack Duffy, who has cere­bral palsy. With the sup­port of her for­mer em­ployer Knight Frank, Ms Banks and Mr Col­houn are hop­ing to fundraise for their own run­ning chair, which costs about $10,000.

Ms Banks and Mr Col­houn are look­ing for spon­sor­ship do­na­tions of $1/km of the Point to Pin­na­cle — $20 in to­tal. To do­nate to the fundraiser, email mandy.gib­lin@au.knight­frank.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.