Fresh start for injured teen after gruelling year

The 'hardest thing' she's ever been through

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2013
Rosie Doig
NATASHA MARTIN/Fairfax NZ

CANINE FRIEND: Rosie Doig with her dog Lilly, who has helped her on her road to recovery.

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Determined not to let a head injury beat her, Timaru teenager Rosie Doig is looking to the future this year and will begin studies towards a nursing career.

The 19-year-old was seriously injured in November 2011 after the car she was driving crashed into a fence and pillar on Pages Rd.

The injuries affected her ability to remember and form memories and she was easily exhausted.

After a difficult year of recovery she is hoping 2013 will be a better one.

She had been determined to return to Craighead Diocesan School last year to complete NCEA level 3. However, it was all too much. It was hard to concentrate and she struggled with complex materials.

"(I) just wasn't ready."

She had to relearn "everything", and spent hours in therapy to assist her recovery.

"It's been a really slow process.

"At times it got really hard. It's actually been the hardest thing that I've ever been through in my life."

The hardest challenge she faced was depression. She had also battled with feelings of anger, but had managed to get on top of that. It had affected her socially, she said. Friends disappeared.

Rosie said there were lonely days where all her friends were at school. The arrival of chihuahua puppy Lilly was a source of comfort.

Therapists told her that having the company of a dog would help.

One constant that remained was her boyfriend who, she said, was amazing. "If I hadn't had him I don't know where I'd be."

She is "extremely nervous" about moving to Dunedin in two weeks, where she will flat with friends.

There was a lot of misunderstanding around head injuries, she said. The injuries are not obviously visible, but are there.

"Sympathy for brain injuries wears off after a while. People hate what they don't understand, and they judge what they don't understand."

She is looking forward to beginning the pre-nursing course that she is required to do before starting a nursing qualification having not completed NCEA Level 3.

Although nervous, she is feeling positive about the future.

"Last year was a horrible year and I'm hoping this year will be good . . . and I can look back and think I had a good year, or a better year than 2012."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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