Shaune Martin with dog Max, who she credits with saving her life.
Shaune Martin with dog Max, who she credits with saving her life.

‘They say I’m a miracle’: How Max saved owner’s life

A REGULAR afternoon walk with her dog Max the Siberian Husky just over a year ago was very nearly the last walk Shaune Martin would take.

Ms Martin suffered horrific head injuries when she was struck by an out of control vehicle barely 100m from her Augustine Heights home.

The impact threw her headfirst into a sandstone retaining wall.

Unconscious, with blood streaming from her head, Ms Martin was hidden from view by a tree that had been uprooted in the crash, while the driver in the out-of-control car continued further down the street before rolling.

Those first on the scene did not even realise she was lying there, critically hurt.

This is where Max sprang into action.

 

Crash victim Shaune Martin with her hero husky Max, who sounded the alarm when she lay injured hidden under bushes.
Crash victim Shaune Martin with her hero husky Max, who sounded the alarm when she lay injured hidden under bushes.

 

Covered in blood, Max bolted home and alerted Ms Martin's partner David Symes.

He ran, with Max, back down the street and was able to alert police and paramedics, who up until that point had not realised there was a pedestrian involved.

Ms Martin spent 71 days in Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"They say I'm a miracle," Ms Martin said.

"I was in ICU in a coma for 27 days. I was critical and doctors did not expect me to survive.

"Every bone in my face was broken and I nearly lost my left eye. The wound was open to my brain.

"If it was not for Max I would not be here.

"Paramedics say if I had been left for 10 more minutes alone I would have died."

Ms Martin also received fractures to her hips and pelvis, right wrist, and lost several teeth. She underwent 11 hours of facial surgery.

Ms Martin said many weeks were spent in post-traumatic amnesia before being transferred to the brain rehabilitation unit.

It has been a life changer for the former military officer who served six years in the RAAF and worked for Boeing.

 

Shaune Martin with her partner David Symes at Ipswich Courthouse.
Shaune Martin with her partner David Symes at Ipswich Courthouse.

 

She is unable to return to worked at this stage.

"I have lost half my vision and have no peripheral vision," she said.

"I am not able to drive.

"I'm really struggling psychologically. I struggle with fatigue, I even lost my sense of smell and I've gained 20 kilograms in weight.

"I don't leave the house on my own as I get too scared.

"I was a fit and happy and sociable person, I played soccer on weekends, enjoyed the outdoors, now it is the opposite.

"Yes it was horrific. I accept I can't change it now but what I can do is to move on in the best way I possibly can."

The accident affected Max too, Ms Martin saying he suffered some trauma and will not go near the crash site, and gets scared when he hears the noise from loud vehicles.

Max's efforts were recognised when he received the annual RSPCA Wacol Hero Award.


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