THORNLIE resident Konnah Ruru has told the students at the Australian Islamic College in Thornlie about his traumatic experience that left him in a coma and a quadriplegic.
Mr Ruru (22) told his story last week to celebrate World Remembrance Day , where the City of Gosnells’ RoadWise Advisory Group and the College remembered those who have lost their lives on WA roads this year.
Originally from Rotorua in New Zealand, he become a quadriplegic five years ago when he and some friends were involved in a car accident driving from Leederville to Thornlie.
Seven people, packed into one hatchback to head home, with Mr Ruru a passenger in the boot.
Mr Ruru soon realised it was dangerous and demanded he get out of the boot. He moved to the front passenger seat to sit with another person, then passed out.
He woke up 32 days later after being in a coma to find he had been in a major car accident and was now a quadriplegic. The car had collided with another vehicle head-on after the driver of the car had fallen asleep causing the car to swerve.
“I woke up 32 days later and my mum was crying,” he said.
“It was quite hard when I woke up; I couldn’t talk and hug my mum.”
After his recent speech at the college, students and staff told him he was inspiring.
He received a third party insurance payout following the crash but no amount of money could cover what he has lost in independence.
“People kept saying to me, oh you are so rich,” he said.
“But, even if you fill up this whole room with `$100 bills, I would rather my independence back. People don’t realise how much I need care and wheelchairs.”
He has to do a lot of physiotherapy, but also spends time working with the RAC and Paraplegic Benefit Fund.
“I do the talks maybe once or twice a week mostly with juvenile justice,” he said.
“It hits the point home because I used to be one of them when I was walking and I see myself when I go in there.”