Vehicles: 1982 Yamaha IT175J and Ford Econovan
Damage: Minor damage to bike and van, both were repaired easily
When: 26th December, 1988
Where: Augusta
Injuries: Rider broke right leg in three places. Spent a week unconscious in intensive care, followed by another few weeks in general hospital.

This was me, back when I was 17 years old! I don't really know what happened - I just woke up in hospital about eight days later, with no idea how I got there or what happened. Going mad with curiosity, I spent the next couple of days asking all the nurses what happened and eventually heard from someone that it involved a motorbike. When my Dad came to see me a few days later I asked him what happened and he said that I collided with a car head on!

Evert since I got my first motorbike for my 13th birthday, I have been mad keen on off-road motorbikes. As a teenager, I spent every cent on bikes that I could save up. In 1987 I managed to make about $600 on the share market - I actually sold all my shares two weeks before the big share market crash because school holidays were coming up and I wanted to cash in my shares to buy motorbike gear! That gear (including the nice new full face helmet that I so treasured) later saved my life. The full face helmet had a massive gouge down one side of the chin guard, so I regard that as one of the best investments I ever made.

The damage to the front of the van was all done by my body. Check out the close up photos of the roobar - those three dents are the bones in my right leg! My leg had three breaks which correspond with those three bars - lower, knee cap, and upper leg. You can see in some of the photos the blood that was seeping through the plaster from a small gash in my right shin. I ending up being in plaster for about three months.

I don't remember being in intensive care at all, I woke up after they moved me out of there. Looking at the photos that my mother took makes me real glad that I wasn't conscious. Being awake with all that leg traction stuff would have been terrifying! But even so, the first week I was awake I went through amazing amounts of pain as my leg muscles faded away, meaning that my badly broken leg was able to move within the plaster cast.

Miraculously, I didn't suffer any noticeable permanent damage (apart from scars). Within a few months of the crash I was walking normally, and I don't even have a permanent limp. I have some nice scars on my right leg, and a small scar under my chin.

All it took to fix the bike was a replacement set of forks and handlebars and it was going again fine. I later sold the bike and used the money to buy a 1987 Kawasaki KDX200, which I raced enduros with.

I was very mobile when my leg was in plaster, and used to ride my 10 speed pushbike everywhere once I went from a full leg cast to just a half cast. It was bloody painful because my knee wasn't capable of bending properly after being in a full plaster cast for a while (ie my entire right leg was in plaster for about six weeks). I was regularly riding around 60 km a day to university, and would hobble around in massive pain because of my stressed knee.

I also had numerous paint jobs on my plaster cast. One was all gold because I figured that if a James Bond character could be Goldfinger then I was going to have a gold leg for a while. The last paint scheme before the final plaster came off was a tuxedo, complete with painted red bow tie. People were amused by it, and I would explain that the plaster was coming off soon and I was therefore dressing for the occasion.

At the time of me writing this, it is 15 years later and I'm now 32 years old. I'm not an actively religious person, but I know that there's something going on somewhere... some sort of higher power. It's just not logically possible for a human body to survive that sort of impact without some sort of divine intervention.