Accident victim faces long recovery

Ajah Cropley  has been released from Dunedin Hospital and is recovering at home in Oamaru after...
Ajah Cropley has been released from Dunedin Hospital and is recovering at home in Oamaru after she was critically injured in a crash on State Highway 83 last month. Photo: Supplied
The father of an Oamaru woman who suffered critical injuries in a crash on State Highway 83 last month says his daughter is a fighter and determined to recover fully.

Ajah Cropley (20) broke her back in three places, all of the ribs on her right side and her pelvis as a result of the August 22 crash.

She also sustained a punctured lung and fractured bones in her face.

The single-vehicle crash happened about 7.45pm on the highway near the intersection of Lake View Pl, just north of Sailors Cutting, when the vehicle Miss Cropley was in left the road and crashed into a bank.

She and another of the vehicle’s occupants were critically injured and two others suffered moderate injuries.

Miss Cropley and another patient were flown to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter, one in each, and the two moderately injured patients were transported by ambulance.

While she had since been discharged from the hospital’s intensive care unit after two rounds of spinal surgery and was back in Oamaru, Miss Cropley’s father Joseph Cropley said his daughter’s recovery would be long and difficult.

"At the moment she’s just in the recovery stage and is currently at home with her family, but just travelling a couple of days a week back to Dunedin ...  It’s a day-by-day thing. She has pins in her back that won’t be out for at least a year."

He said his daughter was a strong woman and would fight hard during her recovery.

"She’s a pretty resilient, strong-minded girl. Because of the way she is, is the reason she’s progressed so quickly. She’s not one to go ‘woe is me’; she’s more like ‘I’m going to heal myself and let’s get into it’."

Mr Cropley said it had "been a tough couple of weeks" for the family, including Miss Cropley’s mother and five siblings.

As Miss Cropley’s mother had given up her job to look after her daughter, the family was down to one income.

A friend of the family had set up a Givealittle page to support them financially. By yesterday afternoon, $3716 had been raised.

Mr Cropley thanked the community for its support.

"We’ve had support from all different types of people in the community. We’ve had people dropping off meals and food. It’s been absolutely amazing."

daniel.birchfield@odt.co.nz

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