ABI Wilkinson has every reason in the world to hold her head high, and for the first time in 12 months she is able to do it by herself.
The Wilkinson family has celebrated a momentous milestone.
April 4 marked 12 months since a horrific head-on collision left now-four-year-old Abi a quadriplegic.
Her siblings, James and Tobi, and mum Tanya escaped with minor injuries.
The past year has been a rollercoaster for the entire family, with Mrs Wilkinson remaining in Brisbane to support her youngest child while Abi receives treatment and rehabilitation.
On March 28, young Abi proved that months of hard work was beginning to pay off.
"She complained that the back of her head was itchy so I went to lift her head to scratch it and noticed it was already off the bed," Mrs Wilkinson said.
"And there was Abi with this huge grin on her face.
"I am so extremely proud of her and extremely grateful she never gave up."
Nursing staff and medical professionals, family, friends and the Gladstone community have all kept the smallest Wilkinson in their prayers - faithful in little Abi's determination.
As they say farewell to the hardest year of their life, the family is celebrating being able to get on with their lives.
"It is a happy day - we have so much more than we should have," Mrs Wilkinson said.
"We still have our family alive and together. What more could we ask for?"
Abi is on track to return home to Gladstone sometime this year.
The past 12 months:
- April 7, 2014: Abi wakes from coma
- April 25, 2014: Tracheotomy surgery
- April 26, 2014: Abi smiles for the first time when Captain Starlight breaks her bout of severe depression
- May 9, 2014: Cardiac arrest
- May 10, 2014: Abi awakes from arrest, on Mother's Day
- July 17, 2014: Shows she can safely eat foods
- August 25, 2014: Her first outing on the PICU balcony and she loves it
- October 22, 2014: First cuddle with mum since the accident
- October 28, 2014: Abi drives her first wheelchair with her chin, mastering control in five minutes
- October 30, 2014: Starts school
- November 1, 2014: For her fourth birthday she spends the day at South Bank and sits in the water with her dad
- November 11, 2014: A sleep study shows some small diaphragmatic movement during the day
- December 25, 2014: Abi is able to spend Christmas out of hospital with her family
- March 2, 2015: Moves her hand slightly
- March 28, 2015: Lifts her head off the bed
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