FASHION STORE: Shop assistant Kahla Dunrobin with Janine Northcott who has opened her dream shop after a horrific car accident two years ago. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
FASHION STORE: Shop assistant Kahla Dunrobin with Janine Northcott who has opened her dream shop after a horrific car accident two years ago. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Life-changing crash leads to new career for former nurse

WHEN Janine Northcott was involved in a car crash two-and-a-half years ago, her life changed forever.

Despite the injuries, the trauma and the depression, the Bundaberg woman and former nurse has refused to let the accident get the best of her and has recently opened up a fashion store in the heart of town.

Ms Northcott said she was spurred to do something else with her life after not being able to return to her job as a nurse because of the crippling affects of the crash.

"It was the day before Easter and my cousins were over for a barbecue and we decided to go bush bashing on a 10-acre block we had in Hervey Bay," she said.

"My older cousin got in the car, hit something and she accelerated into a tree. I didn't have a seatbelt on and I went straight through the windscreen."

Ms Northcott suffered severe head trauma, facial injuries, and more.

"I slit my neck from one end to the other, nicked an artery, had broken ribs, a broken tailbone, I have herniated bulging discs and now I suffer with a lot of pain," she said.

"I was in hospital for about a week. I was eager to get home. I wasn't a good patient. They always say nurses make the worst patients and I guess that is true."

With a long road to recovery ahead of her, Ms Northcott said she became depressed and relied heavily on her family for support.

"I had gone from being such an active person to not being able to hardly move," she said.

"If it wasn't for my daughter-in-law and my son I don't think I would have coped very well."

Ms Northcott said the trauma from the crash was exemplified by an abusive relationship she was in at the time.

"The week I came out of hospital I got punched in the head because I bought a new phone. I still had quite a lot of head injuries. I was quite shocked that he could do that straight after a car accident that nearly took my life. That gave me the will to leave," she said.

After realising she would not be able to return to work as a nurse due to her injuries, Ms Northcott decided to take fate into her own hands.

"I had been nursing for about 10 years. I have some brain injuries, memory loss and sometimes I get a bit mixed up sometimes as well as vertigo. My hearing is also affected," she said.

"I thought I would be in nursing for the rest of my life but the car accident took all of that away from me.

"I am not the type of person to sit around on a disability pension. I wanted to be able to still provide for my family so I decided to open the shop."

Perfect Fit Fashions and Jewellery is situated at 43b Woongarra St and provides casual and formal wear for women from sizes 0 to 26.

"We have also just taken on the new Kelly Osborne label which features beautiful clothes for the bigger ladies as well," Ms Northcott said.

With a new venture ahead of her, Ms Northcott is looking forward to the future with the help of her family.

"I have changed a lot since the car accident. It has taken so much from me but in some ways I have gained part of my life back which was taken from me from my violent partner," she said.

"I rely on my 22-year-old son Johnathon quite a lot. He has given up his life to help me and his lovely partner Kahla runs the shop. I'm just there when I can be."

Perfect Fit Fashions and Jewellery is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm.



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