CAMPERDOWN mother of two and injured jockey Louise Cooper is excited but cautious about being discharged from the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre in Kew this Wednesday.
Mrs Cooper has spent the past six months in hospitals in Melbourne as she recovers from a life-changing race fall at Edenhope.
The 33-year-old, who was catapulted from the saddle, is now paralysed from the chest down.
“I’ll be heading home for good on Wednesday,” Mrs Cooper said.
“I’m just delighted. There have been times over the past six months when I thought I might never get back home but, on the other hand, I know it’s going to be tough.
“Everything has changed since I had the fall. My life has changed and the lives of my husband Matt and our two sons (Jack, 4, and Sam, 23 months) have all changed, quite dramatically.”
Mrs Cooper had metal rods, screws and plates inserted around her spine and a bone graft from her hip to give strength and support to her back.
Her T4, T5 and T6 vertebrae suffered most of the brunt of the fall. She also broke five ribs and her left scapula.
“I had hoped to be home for good in August but I developed a couple of more problems which are now behind me. I’ve just got to look forward to the future with confidence,” she said.
“The two boys have been marking the sleeps off on the calendar before I come home. I came home for a weekend about six weeks ago. I found it really tough to go back to hospital then but now I’m heading home for good, it’s good. There will be a lot of challenges but we’ll face them.”
The former Cobden Technical School student said she and her husband Matt had been overwhelmed by the support they had received from people who had donated money and items to be sold at fund-raising auctions.
“We’ve been totally amazed with what people have been doing for my family and me. People who we don’t even know have been extremely generous,” she said.
“The help support and donations they have made at various fund-raisers across the district have made some things a bit easier. We just wish to say a big thank you to everyone.”