News

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.

No jail after 'silly' act

Murgon Court: Magistrates Court District Court September 22.

A man has escaped a jail sentence

Burnett speeds are only 5mb/s

The NBN is still be rolled out around the South Burnett.

The majority of people are on ADSL.

A pink day out at the races

NANANGO RACES: Be sure to dress in pink for the races on Saturday.

The first race starts at 1.25pm on Saturday, February 25.

Local Partners

Coopers Gap decision to be made on EIS by March

Landholders are waiting for a recommendation on Coopers Gap wind farm project.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

DARIUS McCrary, who played Eddie Winslow on the ’90s sitcom Family Matters, has been accused of holding his infant daughter over a pot of boiling water.

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!