Teresa determined to prove her Point
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org