Nine years ago Amelia White was travelling home from university in Bathurst when a Canadian driving on the wrong side of the road struck her vehicle head on.
The 18-year-old suffered horrendous injuries including a crushed femur, hips and ribs, and her leg was almost severed at the calf.
An aspiring equestrian, Mrs White was told she might have her leg amputated and would probably never compete again.
"It was out of the question. I remember saying to him 'don't be ridiculous you have to fix it because I have to ride'," she said.
The James Sheahan Catholic High School graduate didn't lose her leg, but she was restricted to a wheelchair while she learnt how to walk again.
I learnt that you can still get to where you want to, maybe you just go a different routeAmelia White
Mrs White was forced to drop out of her university degree and reassess her goal of being a professional athlete.
Despite the trauma, the teenager was back on her horse within 12 months.
"Riding has always been my life," she said. "I can remember from a very young age asking my mum and dad for a pony. I tried other sports but it was never the same."
For more than five years Mrs White was in and out of operating theatres with surgeons working to repair the damage to her knees, ankles, legs and feet.
She said she got to a point where she decided enough was enough.
"I said 'no more, everything else can wait until it's bad enough that I can't function'," she said.
Reluctantly, Mrs White had begun training for Para-Equestrian Dressage. The doctor appointments had started getting in the way of her new goal.
"If I really wanted to pursue professional riding I couldn't afford to be spending time away from the saddle," she said.
"Fast forward many years, and I am now competing for Australia in para dressage. I have based myself in Europe, with some of the world's best riders and trainers, and was recently one of six combinations to be named on the long list for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, where my dream of representing Australia is so close to reality."
Mrs White said she hopes her story can inspire other young athletes to keep trying no matter what life throws at them.
"My life changed dramatically nine-years-ago," she said. "But I learnt that you can still get to where you want to, maybe you just go a different route."
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