Brave Kayla came back from the dead
KAYLA Demmel has the cool carefree appearance of someone who knows she is lucky just to be alive.
On September 7, Kayla was driving towards her parents' home when her car ran off Kholo Rd and slammed into trees.
Ipswich Hospital emergency department doctor Eric Richman was one of the first to stop and she credits him with saving her life.
Despite the seriousness of her ordeal, she is able to view it with humour.
"I wasn't breathing or anything so if he didn't pull me out I would have stayed dead," she said. Then laughed.
"He pulled me out and got me breathing again and everything."
With head injuries, fractured pelvis, broken leg, smashed eye socket and other assorted injuries, she spent weeks in Princess Alexandra Hospital.
She said after coming home from hospital, the enormity of what happened had hit her.
"One of the guys from down the road took pictures of my car and when I saw them I started crying and I was like, "Whoa" because my steering wheel was in my CD player," she said. "I thought: 'Oh my God, how did I get out of this?' It was all, like, crushed."
Kayla, who turns 22 tomorrow, said the crash was on a Wednesday but later on she could only remember up to the previous Friday when she left work to go on holidays and then "lost about three weeks".
"Nobody knows why I crashed. Because I can't remember I don't know either," she said.
"My step mum was on the way in to pick up the kids from school and she's seen my car and stopped and tried to ring home to get my dad to come down.
"He was painting a car at the time so it took her a while to get hold of him and as soon as she did he went down there.
"With what happened to my head, when I first woke up I was real confused. I knew my family but I didn't know why I was in hospital. "I kept saying, "I'm going home tomorrow'. I don't remember any of the pain.
"When I woke up I remember looking down and thinking, I'm okay because I had bruises on my arms but by the time I came out of the coma they had gone away. I couldn't see my face."
Kayla, who works in sales at Steggles at Wulkuraka, said her workmates had been very supportive and were "more like a family than workmates".
"I can't wait to get back to work," she said.
Her real family is just grateful to have her still with them.