Mum to ambos at crash: ’Tell my kids I love them’
KIM Beynon lies catastrophically injured on the side of the Bruce Highway after a high-range drink-driver ploughs into her motorbike.
Her right leg has basically been wrenched off in the impact and she does not know if she will survive.
In the background she can hear the driver responsible - who was more than three times the limit - blaming her for the crash.
The Kuttabull mother shares her confronting story as part of the Daily Mercury's Be Safe Mackay campaign.
Her memories are painfully clear.
"What I remember is the lights of the car coming towards me and thinking, this is not right," Ms Beynon said.
"I didn't sort of feel the impact as such but knew it had happened.
"The next thing I remember was lying on the ground and this lovely young chap holding my hand.
"And the paramedics came, I remember asking them if they thought I'd make it and just to tell my kids I loved them.
The 55 year old nursing assistant had been on her way to work on June 12, 2014 when Denise Rosemary Gilmore changed her life forever.
Her Hyundai Getz crossed into the wrong lane and collided with Ms Beynon's bike at The Leap.
"I do remember seeing the leg and knowing that it wasn't going to be OK," Ms Beynon said.
"It wasn't a shock when I woke up two weeks later with the amputation."
Gilmore had a 0.185 per cent blood alcohol reading and a cup half full of wine was found in her car.
She pleaded guilty in 2015 to dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm while adversely affected.
She was jailed for three and a half years, suspended after serving 14 months.
Ms Beynon's recovery has not been easy - her leg had to be removed at the hip - but she told doctors from the start she wanted to walk again.
"I said I want to be upright, I don't want to be in a wheelchair - so that sort of gave me something to focus on," she said.
It was about 12 months before she was fitted with her $100,000 prosthetic.
"We weren't sure at the beginning whether I would be able to make it work," she said.
"The whole thing was very difficult for my family, particularly my kids, my two girls. They both suffered anxiety, still do."
The past 12 months had been hard, Ms Beynon said, as things settled down and she realised, "oh, this is how life is going to be forever".
Once a very active woman, who loved bush walking, gardening and working with her animals, Ms Beynon said her injury restricted her daily activities even with her prosthetic leg.
"I do get frustrated … I've had to recently have a really good look at what I can do," she said.
"Things which would have taken me 10 minutes now take an hour. But I do feel very lucky to have survived and to have this leg."
Ms Beynon has a message for all drivers.
"I really wish people would think before they drink and drive," she said.
"It has lasting repercussions for a lot of people … whether it's a serious injury or a death.
"Drink-driving is too acceptable … I don't think people realise what can happen."