GOULBURN teenager Bree Patton remains in a stable condition at Canberra Hospital after being taken off life support.
She was involved in an accident with a Holden Calais, driven by a 30-year-old Goulburn man that collided heavily with her hatchback at the corner of Marys Mount and Crookwell Roads at approximately 3am on December 30. According to police, it landed partially on top of her car.
She has also been taken out of the induced coma she was in due to the extent of her brain injuries, and is now talking again. The 18- year-old also sustained a smashed pelvis and fractured sternum in the crash.
The driver has been charged with negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm, and will appear in Goulburn District Court on January 23. Investigations are continuing.
Her mother Jenny Patton told the Post that Bree is now on pureed food, and has all her meals fed to her by friends and family.
“She is also unable to sit up, but is now talking, although she doesn’t always make sense,” Mrs Patton said.
“She even thought the nurses were lying to her when they told her she had been in a car accident - I don’t think she’ll come to terms with things for a while yet.”
Mrs Patton said that it has been a long and quite tiring process at times, but she still remains strong and optimistic for Bree’s sake.
“I feel that she’s improved a thousand per cent from what she was,” she said.
“Her boyfriend and friends have been so great, coming to the hospital, giving her moral support and just hanging out with her to give me and my husband a bit of a break. I would also like to thank the people of Goulburn for being so supportive of our family and sending their get well messages.
They have been absolutely amazing.
The people of Goulburn deserve a pat on the back – they’re actually quite a compassionate lot.
I cannot thank you all enough –it’s been very tough for our family in recent times.”
Mrs Patton herself was diagnosed with brain tumours 18 months ago, and said the family had been plagued by everything, and were simply just looking forward to a happier New Year.
Mrs Patton says that Bree will be in hospital for another six to eight weeks at least, and the family is awaiting the opinions of a professor who specialises in Bree’s injuries to monitor her scans and make a verdict as to how to proceed.
“I’m confident she can pull through this,” Mrs Patton said.
“She’s a determined girl, and her school and university results are a testament to this.”
Bree had just completed the first year of a secondary teaching degree specialising in English and History, and was on a Department of Education scholarship at Wollongong University, scoring distinctions and high distinctions.
She was also among the top students for 2011 at Goulburn High School.