Belinda Wachs had made the drive from the south coast to St Marys many times before.
It was April 7, 2015, and Ms Wachs, her two sons and her former partner were returning home after spending the Easter long weekend camping at Racecourse Beach.
The family enjoyed fish and chips at Ulladulla before setting off for Sydney. That’s when Ms Wachs’ life changed forever.
“Twenty minutes after leaving Ulladulla, a lady came out of her lane and hit me head on,” she said.
“I remember everything. For me it happened in slow motion.”
Her two sons and former partner hobbled away with a few bumps and bruises, but it took paramedics more than an hour to safely remove her from the car.
Ms Wachs body was a mess. She had a broken elbow, glass in her face, a severely fractured pelvis, spinal damage, lacerated organs and major internal bleeding.
Almost two-and-a-half years and thousands of dollars later, the 38-year-old needs a walking stick and requires hourly morphine hits to get through each day.
Still, Ms Wachs is upbeat and looking to the future.
“This is the norm now,” she said. “You cope with it.”
Ms Wachs, whose story was featured on Channel 9’s This Time Next Year last night, made a vow to track down the people who saved her life.
Through the help of the show, she finally managed to do that.
“The only positive thing was that if the right people weren’t there, I wouldn’t have made it,” she said.
“All I could remember was their voices. When I heard their voices on stage, it was a crazy experience.
“I don’t like the journey that I’m on, I’m stuck with it, but that was a good bit.”
She said the paramedics weren’t her only heroes.
“My parents were amazing,” Ms Wachs said. “They had my kids for the whole time I was ill. Even now, if I’ve got an appointment, regardless of what they’ve got on, they drop it.”