RizeUp, fight violence says miracle mum
SIMONE O’Brien isn’t supposed to be alive right now.
The 46-year-old was on the brink of death the night of September 25, 2012, after her former partner smashed her skull in with a baseball bat.
Doctors at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital described it as the worst head trauma they have ever seen and had to reassemble the entire right side of her face, as well as restore her vision, smell and ability to eat.
Now, the mother-of-three is speaking out about domestic violence through support organisation RizeUp.
Her road to recovery has been long and arduous after sustaining injuries so severe she was left blind, unable to smell and could not open her jaw more than two millimetres.
“(Emergency crews) didn’t think I was going to survive,” she said.
“I’ve since met the ambulance (crew) that saved my life at the scene and they said it was lucky I got so many baseball bats to the right side of the face that it shattered my skull … to give way for the brain swelling, which is why I haven’t ended up with any long or short-term memory loss. It’s hard to believe I’m here talking about myself like this.”
The lead surgeon at the time who operated on Ms O’Brien was Dr Anthony Lynham, now a Labor MP in the State Government.
He said it was impossible to forget the extent of Simone’s injuries.
“You always remember people like Simone who had the worst of i njuries in the most beautiful of people,” he said. “She’s done wonderfully well. She is just such a beautiful woman.” Ms O’Brien has spent the past few weeks speaking out about domestic violence with RizeUp, which last week announced the completion of its 500th home for women and families seeking to leave an abusive relationship.