Joel’s on the road to a full recovery after car accident
PETA Dinsdale has endured every mother's worst nightmare, waiting for her son to wake from a coma.
Mrs Dinsdale's 17-year-old youngest son Joel, who is a Mackay motocross star, was in a car crash on March 18 and has been in Townsville Hospital ever since.
Suffering brain injuries, a broken left ankle and an injury to his left knee, Joel was kept in an induced coma while doctors tried to work out the extent of his injuries.
"It was scary at first because you just don't know," Mrs Dinsdale said.
"They don't know the extent of the damage until they wake up."
The family has seen its fair share of tragedy. In 2011 Joel's father and Peta's husband, Steven Dinsdale, died suddenly of natural causes.
Two weeks ago, Joel was on his way to Brisbane to compete in motocross when his utility crashed on the Bruce Hwy at St Lawrence.
At first Joel lay in a critical condition in Townsville Hospital and required ventilation to breathe.
He improved to the point of being able to breathe on his own and continued showings signs of improvement.
He woke up from the coma last week and is now expected to make a full recovery.
Mrs Dinsdale said it was amazing he'd pulled through and that she could now breathe a sigh of relief.
While he couldn't speak when he first woke up, Mrs Dinsdale said he communicated by writing.
"His first question was: 'what happened'," she said. He couldn't remember the accident.
Mrs Dinsdale said the right side of Joel's body was weak but he was in good spirits and "ready for the next hard step".
Joel is now in rehabilitation, is speaking well and will be mobile again.
"Mind-wise he's fine," Mrs Dinsdale said.
She said he'd like to eventually get back on his bike, depending on his rehabilitation. However, it was hard to tell at this stage; he could be in Townsville for months.
Messages of support have continued to flow to the family, especially from those involved in the motocross sport.
"Hundreds and hundreds of people have been messaging and sending their support," Mrs Dinsdale said. "Thank you to everyone for support and kind messages."