ON THE MEND: Sunshine Beach State School teacher Barbara Crameri is recovering in Noosa Hospital after being run down in Paris while on holidays. Geoff Potter
Even when Sunshine Beach State School teacher Barbara Crameri was swept up in the romance of celebrating her 40th birthday in Paris atop the Eiffel Tower with husband Danny, her students were never far from her thoughts.
"On the first day in Paris she was out shopping and bought 30 little Eiffel Towers for her kids (Year 4)," Danny said.
Then the next day as the two were strolling along the sidewalk, looking up at where they had dined high above the tree-lined streets, her nightmare came careering along out of control.
"WE were walking along sightseeing together and we were looking up at the Eiffel Tower - I just saw two cars, one coming from the right and not stopping," Danny said.
"In a split second this car just brushed past me and hit my wife and rammed her up against a parked car.
"For a while she looked like 'this isn't happening' and then let out a scream. She had massive leg injuries, I could see that straight away, but she was conscious throughout the whole thing."
After frantic efforts to get Barbara free, paramedics spent 40 minutes stabilising her before rushing her to the Percy Military Hospital for emergency operations.
"My heart just dropped when they said to come in and hold her hand - I thought I was saying goodbye," Danny said.
It was the start of a 50-day stay - the first 35 days in intensive care before being released to the rehabilitation ward and, as tough as her situation was, she had plenty to inspire her on her long recovery.
Barbara was in a ward with soldiers who helped put her plight into perspective.
"I don't feel lucky, (but) it was quite sobering to see the other patients in the military hospital who had sustained injuries from the war in Afghanistan, because I know how much worse it could have been," Barbara said.
Barbara wanted to send a message back to her students at Sunshine Beach via her laptop.
"I wrote a letter to the kids not to worry," Barbara said.
"I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support I received from my family, friends, work mates and the students of 4C whilst I was in Paris and now that I am back home.
"It has and will go a long way towards my recovery. Paris is a beautiful city and I plan to finish my European holiday."
Danny, a physical education teacher, stayed in Paris and has been amazed by her incredible spirit and determination to eventually get back to teaching.
"She carried me along then - I felt so helpless. She has been so courageous and selfless through the whole ordeal, she is an amazing woman," Danny said.
"The only time she cried was three days later when she rang her mum."
Since returning to Noosa Barbara has been in Noosa Hospital working hard on her recovery.
Doctors think she will be in a wheelchair until May. Barbara said she would like to go back to school as soon as she can walk on crutches.
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