On Thursday 31 May 2018 Jess tragically suffered an accident doing what she loves most, surfing with her friends on the Gold Coast. Jess was left face down and paralysed in the water, remaining conscious as she used her lifeguarding knowledge to hold her breath and stay alive. This accident resulted in a spinal injury, fracturing her C5 vertebra which squashed the spinal cord and left her without feeling or movement below the shoulders. Less than a week post accident and spinal fusion surgery Jess is breathing on her own for the most part and has regained some sensation and slight movement in her arms however, the medical professionals have expressed their concerns that she will not regain movement in her legs.
For those who don’t already know Jessica Collins, she is a force to be reckoned with and the girl who lights up the whole room when she enters. She has an infectious personality that leaves you wanting more and is always leaving a positive impact on those around her. She takes on many important roles as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lifeguard, and an athlete (just to mention a few). Jess has already achieved so much in her lifetime whether it be representing and medalling for her local club Redhead, NSW and Australia in Surf Life Saving, attending to and saving the lives of others as both a volunteer and council lifeguard, or being only one school term of prac away from completing her university degree in primary school teaching. Above all, she should be most proud of her ability to fight and stay strong in the face of adversity given her current situation.
Only recently turning 24, Jess has her whole life ahead of her to prove the professionals wrong and she will NOT let this defeat her. However, with her strength and determination to fight, comes a lifetime of expenses for both Jess and her family. We, as her family and friends, ask for any donation no matter how big or small to help Jess take on this next chapter in her life. These donations will go towards Jess’s recovery and rehabilitation in the hope that one day she will again stand tall and face the sun, just like a sunflower.