Complete contrast is the only way to describe it.
This time a year ago, Shania Hutton was in a coma, on life support in Dunedin Hospital. Now, she is playing outdoors in the summer sun, having the most memorable holiday she can imagine.
It has been just over a year since the 11-year-old was almost killed when she was hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing near her Riselaw Rd home.
The accident, in December 2011, left Shania with serious head and lung injuries, and doctors initially told her family she was unlikely to survive.
Shania spent six months in Dunedin Hospital and the Wilson Centre in Auckland, where she received rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
She was able to return home last June.
Shania's mother, Jane, said the family's summer holidays included visiting the family dairy farm at Clydevale, as well as Central Otago.
Shania has no recollection of anything that happened from the week before her accident until last April.
''I'm annoyed I slept through last Christmas and the holidays.
''But I'm making up for it this year.''
She was having what she called ''a hunormous'' holiday, doing most of the things ''normal'' girls do on holiday.
Mrs Hutton said Shania's health had improved ''out of sight'' but she still had a long way to go.
''She's improving steadily. She's very stubborn - that's why she's come so far.''
Fatigue was still a major challenge. Just doing a short day trip left her tired for the rest of the week. So the family had been taking life slowly.
''Life's so different now,'' Mrs Hutton said.
''Little things are now huge and exciting events.''
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