Trucker, 25, Learns Her Legs Have Been Amputated Weeks After Road Accident

A 25-year-old trucker who was placed in an induced coma following a horrific road accident has learned three weeks after the incident that both her legs have been amputated.

Michelle Pillar from Victoria state in southeastern Australia was driving a truck with a livestock trailer in January when it rolled over and got trapped between a tree and a bridge.

She was trapped in the truck cabin for 11 hours before emergency services finally managed to free her, but only after paramedics were forced to amputate Pillar's right leg below the knee to save her.

After being rushed to the hospital, surgeons had to amputate her other leg because of complications arising from an infection. Doctors placed Pillar on life-support and put her in an induced coma for a week.

Since the accident, she has undergone numerous surgeries and has been heavily sedated for long periods, so she hasn't been fully aware of what was happening to her. In fact, she has only just learned that her legs have been amputated.

"It wasn't until yesterday that she was informed it was all true and she did not have any legs," the woman's brother-in-law, Ignatius Corboy, told Sydney-based radio station 2GB on Wednesday. "You can imagine the impact that has had on her."

Corboy said Pillar's family was only able to see her over video chat because of COVID restrictions.

"So, she doesn't really have the support of a family by her side," he said.

Her brother-in-law said Pillar had a long road to recovery but that he was hopeful she could stay strong throughout her ordeal.

"I can't imagine anyone stronger to put up with a struggle like this. They say truck drivers are the backbone of the nation—I can tell you now she's it."

Pillar had been building a career in livestock transport, with Corboy saying she was the "most unlikely person to be driving trucks" but her "can-do attitude" drove her forward.

"Her father's a truck driver, he's a truck driver, and she just told him 'I can do it too' and she was very good at it," Corboy said. "But now she'll never drive again."

"Her life has sadly changed forever, but we just have to make the most of what she's got."

Following the accident, Corboy set up a GoFundMe page to raise money that will go towards her treatment, rehabilitation, mental health care, and, eventually, a new set of legs. At the time of writing, the page has received more than $18,016 AUD ($12,900) in donations.

"My personal aim is to get Michelle back on her feet, so she can dance again, run again, and be the remarkable independent woman she is again," the GoFundMe description said. "Let's get this beautiful girl back on her feet !!!!"

A woman in hospital
Stock image showing a woman lying in a hospital bed. A 25-year-old trucker who was placed in an induced coma following a road accident has learned three weeks after the incident that her legs have been amputated. iStock