Hit teenager April Gray takes first steps four months after accident

APRIL Gray continues to fight and continues to get better. 

The 16-year-old was hit by a car in a freak accident on her way to school in January. 

April suffered numerous breaks to her jaw and a broken collarbone, left wrist and left femur, as well as tears to three ligaments in her right knee.

But her spirit is as strong as ever.

“My recovery has been going really well,” April said. 

“I can eat normal food again and my wrists are also going well.”

April returned home in February, about two-and-a-half weeks after the accident. 

She said she had a few setbacks with her knees and their movement, but all was on track. 

“It was good to just come home and get back to a bit of normality,” she said. “I love seeing my family. I’m so much happier when I’m home.”

However, April’s life still isn’t what it used to be. She uses a walking frame to get around the house and a wheelchair when she’s going out.

On Wednesday, she had her first rehabilitation session where she took her first unassisted steps since the crash, in a pool. 

“It was good to do something that made me feel a bit independent, even thought the water was taking like 80 per cent of my body weight,” she said.

April hopes to be walking again in two to three months, but will continue rehabilitation for at least five months. 

“I’ve been trying to do a bit of school work each day, but I’m not able to concentrate well,” she said.

Her time is spent going to medical appointments and seeing physiotherapists and psychologists.

“I try to get out of the house at least one time a week for a non-doctor thing,” she said.

“But I have to catch a maxi-taxi, so if I go into town it costs $20 each way so it’s quite expensive.”

A trivia night to raise money for April was recently held, with proceeds going to help her everyday extra expenses. 

She said she has spent a lot of time just resting and watching TV shows and getting into the kitchen. 

“I do a bit of cooking. Dad helps me – he’s kind of like my kitchen hand,” she said.

But the hardest part of the recovery has been when people stare.

“People look at me when I’m down the street. That doesn’t help me feel normal,” April said. 

“I’m just looking forward to when I can get in and out

of a normal car and walk around.

“It’s been nice when people have recognised me and asked how I’m going.” 

A highlight for April was her step-brother’s birth three weeks ago. 

“I was able to go and visit him in the hospital, which was really nice,” she said.

nicole.cairns@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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