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Great granny loses independence and mobility after being hit by taxi

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Great grandmother Patricia Prendergast’s independent and energetic lifestyle was brought to an abrupt halt when a taxi reversed into her outside her Wendouree home.

The now 96-year-old – who lived on her own up until the accident on November 11, 2015 – is now a resident at John Curtin Aged Care home due to the ongoing vertigo, dizziness, arthritis, neck, hip and leg pain, loss of appetite and constant fatigue suffered since.

At 10.30am on the day of the accident, the then guide at the Art Gallery of Ballarat was stepping into a taxi in order to make it to the arthouse for a Remembrance Day service at 11am. 

But after her taxi driver got into an argument with a neighbour, she chose to get out of the cab, which then accidently reversed into her and resulted in her head hitting the ground.

She then spent five days at Ballarat Base Hospital before being transferred to Creswick Hospital for a further two weeks.

“I was really frustrated before I was hit, I got out of the cab and said I’ll get another one and then I ended up on the ground,” Mrs Prendergast said. “After that all I remember is waking up on an ambulance trolley.

“But I know it was an accident, it was just very unfortunate.” 

While the great grandmother of 25 said she held no ill will towards the driver she said it was frustrating not being able to do what she used to and participate in her former busy and socially active lifestyle.

Prior to the accident, Mrs Prendergast enjoyed shopping, cooking and cleaning as well practicing on her glockenspiel every day and regularly performing in a Celtic band with the local University of the Third Age.

She now finds it hard to concentrate when reading, struggles to sit for extended periods of time and has difficulty dressing herself.

“I would have normally driven to the gallery that day – I drove everywhere – but I thought I’d take a taxi because it would have been easier than getting a park,” Mrs Prendergast said.

“Before the accident I was bubbly and full of life, now I just feel like I have ‘no go’. I had a very active social life back then but I just can’t do it now.”

Slater and Gordon Lawyer Sue Emery said Mrs Prendergast’s life had clearly been changed after the accident.

“Prior to her accident Mrs Prendergast had a great energy to contribute to her community,” Ms Emery said.

“Unfortunately for her and the people of Ballarat she is unable to continue in such an active way.”

Mrs Prendergast has eight children, 31 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.