Sweet homecoming for Beitzel family

HOME AT LAST: Blackbutt's Jacqui Beitzel is back home in with her mum Gay after months in hospital recovering from a massive brain injury.
HOME AT LAST: Blackbutt's Jacqui Beitzel is back home in with her mum Gay after months in hospital recovering from a massive brain injury. Tessa Mapstone

AFTER 19 days in intensive care, four months in hospital, brain swelling and bleeds and learning to walk again, Jacqui Beitzel has come home to Blackbutt.

Jacqui, 16, faced a harrowing time after falling from a horse in July and suffering huge brain injuries.

She made a miraculous recovery and two weeks ago she returned home with her mother Gay to the town that pulled out all the stops to help them.

The community raised $10,000 in just 10 days to help cover Jacqui's medical costs and pay for her mother to be by her side in Brisbane.

Mrs Beitzel said she was overwhelmed by the support the town showed them in what was the worst year of their lives.

"Without the town, without the schools, without the mine's people I would never have been able to stay there," she said.

"But there's too many people to count and I don't want to miss anybody out.

"Blackbutt is my home town and I'm just so grateful to everybody.

"Thank you for the love, support, prayers and donations.

"Especially the prayers. A lot of people were praying."

Jacqui has little memory of the accident that happened when she was mustering cattle with her father and a school friend from Nanango on a property west of Rockhampton.

She was riding an ex-racehorse when it bolted.

"There was a cattle grid in front of me and there was also an open gate and he was turning to jump," she said.

"I'm not experienced enough to jump so I turned around and he went through the gate and turned sharply and I just kept going in that direction.

"I wish I would have tucked and rolled but..."

Jacqui hit her head as she fell, and Mrs Beitzel said the actions of her father, Scott, and her friend Chloe Winston saved her life.

"It's not really often he would take a phone mustering but this day he's had a phone and ... they had to hold her head together while they waited for the ambulance," she said.

"Her father had to ring the ambulance and then they wanted coordinates for the helicopter.

"(Chloe) had to hold her all together.

"She's had counselling but the better Jacqui got the better Chloe got."

Paramedics did not expect Jacqui to survive the flight from Rockhampton to Brisbane, with little oxygen getting to her brain and huge pressure swelling inside her skull.

Mrs Beitzel said watching her daughter lying in an induced coma in intensive care was the hardest thing she has ever done.

"I used to get head spins as soon as I walked in ICU," she said.

"I was so stressed that I'd forget to breathe.

"You don't worry about tomorrow, you think about the day that you're in and stay in that day because if you thought about tomorrow...

"With the brain they don't know, even the doctors can't tell you.

"It was the worst time of my life."

After months of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, upper limb and cognitive therapy Jacqui has improved beyond all expectations.

The brain injuries left her with less function in the right side of her body, she had to learn to walk again and to write with her left hand instead of her right.

She still has a long way to go but is full of life and looking forward to the future.

"I want to go back to school, just complete the thing and finally go back to work," she said.

"Just kick-start my life really."

South Burnett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Storms hit Murgon, Wondai

A lightning show at Lightning St, Calliope.

The BOM issued a storm warning for the area earlier this evening

Sales are hot for firefighter calendars

BUY A HOT DATE: Firefighters' calenders are on sale in Kingaroy Shopping World until Saturday afternoon.

Get in quick for your hot firefighter calendars.

Kingaroy kids pirouette into youth ballet

GOT THE MOVES: Billie-Kate Stead, Cooper Moller and Lucy Crumpton have joined the West Moreton Youth Ballet.

Three Kingaroy dancers will head to Toowoomba every week.

Local Partners

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

The Koi Boys are back with more covers and original songs

Former Voice contestants The Koi Boys have signed with Universal Music.

THE Voice favourites release their debut album today.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E10 - hometown visits

Georgia Love in a scene from season two episode 10 of The Bachelorette.

Georgia meets the families of her four beaus tonight.

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

Shaynna'a blazing a stylish trail on television

Shaynna Blaze hosts the new TV show Deadline Design.

SHE'S the designer with no less than three shows on ours screens.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.