Gratitude along road to recovery

KELLIE Shepherd is slowly starting to walk again.

She is finally able to get out of hospital and do things with family and friends on the weekends. Each day marks a new step on her road to recovery.

It has been almost one year since the 39-year-old mother of three was left paralysed on the left side of her body after being kicked in the head by one of her horses, and family and friends are invited to celebrate her one-year-on recovery with a milestone walk at Royal Park on Saturday.

The walk will start at 11am, and it will be a time for family and friends to catch up with the former Longford Mitre 10 employee.

Ms Shepherd moved to Launceston's John Grove Rehabilitation Centre in November after spending 10 weeks in a coma at the Royal Hobart Hospital and undertaking a lot of rehabilitation and operations following the March 22 incident.

It wasn't until May, when her tracheostomy tube was removed, that she was slowly able to talk again. Although the accident didn't affect her mentally, she is still learning how to say things with the right expression - her voice is a bit flatter in tone than it used to be - and how to move her left arm again.

``The difference in me since coming here (to Launceston) is amazing,'' Ms Shepherd said.

``I was still paralysed in my left leg in November, but they've been working on getting me back up.''

The horse lover and keen runner said it was ``mind-blowing'' when she was able to take her first steps on a treadmill.

Although she can only walk about 15 metres at the moment, she hoped in two months she could go much further.

``Out of 100 people who had the severity of the injury that I had, only 10 survive, and out of those 10, only two survive mentally intact, so I'm pretty lucky,'' Ms Shepherd said.

Her mother Toni Hibbs said it had been a tough journey ``but with the outcome, I think we have a lot to be thankful for''.

``The doctor's predictions weren't very good at first, so her neurosurgeon called her his miracle girl,'' Ms Hibbs said.

``The support we have received here at the rehab centre has been incredible.

``They've worked really hard with her, it's almost like a family.''

Friends, family and anyone who has supported Ms Shepherd on her recovery journey are invited to attend Saturday's walk.

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