Julie Baker from South Lismore is pictured with one of her twin sons Jeramiah. The boys were injured in an accident in March and the joy of watching her boys slowly mend has been tinged by financial burden.
Julie Baker from South Lismore is pictured with one of her twin sons Jeramiah. The boys were injured in an accident in March and the joy of watching her boys slowly mend has been tinged by financial burden. Cathy Adams

Crash tragedy takes toll on mum

LISMORE mother Julie Baker's world was turned upside down in an instant.

An horrific car crash at South Lismore on March 3 left her twin boys fighting for their lives in separate hospitals in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

Now, seven weeks later, Zachary and Jeramiah, 18, remain in hospital in Brisbane with severe injuries and Ms Baker's world is falling slowly apart.

After the accident she quit her job to be there for her boys and now, with no car and very little savings, she is struggling to cope with the daily trips from Lismore to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

"I've never ever asked for help. I've always got by," Ms Baker said.

"You sort of can't imagine it could happen to you."

Her friends were so worried by her plight they contacted The Northern Star.

"This lady who has worked in welfare has been a total giver of everything," said Ms Baker's friend and former colleague, who only wanted to be known as Shane.

"I'm just trying to get some help for this lady, who has given so much to others.

"When you're so low it's hard to ask for help.

"People don't see this side of it. After the accident, months down the track the friends and relatives are still working behind the scenes."

Every morning Ms Baker wakes up, borrows a car from a friend and drives to Brisbane.

She stays with the twins all day, sometimes bringing them crafts, sometimes taking them for walks.

When she is too exhausted to drive home, she sleeps overnight in the car, or in a hospital waiting room.

Ms Baker said being there for the boys was her biggest priority.

Jeramiah went to Richmond River High, but moved to Goulbourn after finding work there in an abattoir.

On the day of the accident he was home for a visit.

The car crash left him with a list of injuries that include seven fractures to the skull, a bleed beside the brain and a damaged right eye.

Zachary, who graduated Year 12 at Richmond River High last year, was hoping to get an electrician's apprenticeship.

He suffered multiple internal injuries, fluid around the brain, a collapsed lung, and a bruised and broken hand and leg.

Mr Baker said Jeramiah's recovery was going well and he had been allowed home twice on weekends.

But she said for Zachary there was still a long way to go.

She said her own shock at the accident had probably not sunk in yet.

"You think about it at night sometimes, but then you're so bloody tired you fall asleep," Ms Baker said.

"It races through you're head what could have been."

Ms Baker's friends are hoping the community will step in to help her. Ms Baker said she had attempted to get accommodation in Brisbane, but now she had no income she couldn't afford it.

Since the accident she has only been able to drive to Brisbane by borrowing vehicles from friends and relatives.

"Maybe someone's got a car in the garage they are not using," Shane said.

If you can help Ms Baker, please contact us at The Northern Star on 6620 0555.


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