COLLEEN Tabone faces a long and painful road to recovery after suffering a grisly car accident injury, but it hasn't stopped her from thanking the people that were first on scene.
The 18-year-old sustained an open compound fracture to her right leg after colliding with another vehicle on the Brisbane Valley Hwy at Pine Mountain on November 23.
By coincidence, an Ipswich Hospital nurse witnessed the crash and was able to provide first aid, placing a pad over the open leg wound until paramedics arrived from Ipswich and Lowood.
"I was screaming in pain," Ms Tabone said.
"I was yelling for someone to call my dad, and I remember having bad seatbelt burn."
Ms Tabone's father Joe was on scene quickly, and reportedly did very well to contain the horror he felt when confronted with the sight of his badly injured daughter.
"The bone was sticking out of her leg," Mr Tabone said.
Paramedics from Ipswich and Lowood worked quickly to provide pain relief before getting the driver off to the PA Hospital, where she remained for a week after undergoing surgery.
Now wrapped in a full-leg brace, the injured peg will require months of physio.
Ms Tabone, a former Australian tae kwon do representative, still hasn't been told if she will regain full use of the limb.
Even so, she has maintained a positive outlook, and she went, with her parents and sister, to Ipswich ambulance station on Friday to thank the paramedics who helped her on that awful afternoon.
"Colleen insisted on coming back to thank them today," mum Sue said.
"We are just so grateful that these paramedics were there on the day."
Colleen's father said he was disgusted at the recent case where an injured man attacked a paramedic in an ambulance on the Gold Coast. He said it was hard to believe anyone could set out to assault a paramedic.
"I take my hat off to these guys and the work they do every day," Mr Tabone said.
Ipswich paramedic Alex Henderson said it was extremely rare to have a patient come back and thank him, but he and his colleagues were extremely grateful.
Ms Tabone also thanked the Ipswich Hospital nurse, known only as Rose, who was first on scene.