MICHAEL Coffey remembers little of the day his life changed forever.
It was November last year and Mr Coffey, co-owner of Addimi in Tamworth, was leaving a CBD function when he failed to navigate a perilous stairwell.
He missed the top step and crashed down a flight of stairs, fracturing his skull and eye socket, causing a severe brain bleed.
He was flown to John Hunter Hospital and woke up three days later. The prognosis was grim – he was expected to die or, at best, remain in a nursing home for life.
“My head was so fuzzy and I remember thinking at the time, ‘this is what it must feel like when you die’,” Mr Coffey said.
So dire was the situation, Mr Coffey’s wife Dianne and son Adrian were discussing funeral plans. But through the miracle of medicine, or perhaps help from on high, Mr Coffey begun a painstaking recovery process.
The road ahead will be arduous – doctors say it will be at least 12 months before he returns to any semblance of normality – but Mr Coffey knows he’s a lucky man.
“The rehab ward has been a huge part of my recovery and will continue to be,” he said. “I can’t speak too highly of this place.”
But money talks and during the country music festival, Addimi held a fundraiser to contribute towards the rehabilitation ward.
Among the artists playing at the Sunday Session were the Sunny Cowgirls, Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds and Lachlan Bryan. Gold-coin donations raised $1000 but event organiser Adrian Coffey hopes for $10,000 next year.
“The ward is looking a bit tired and we thought even if the money only buys some fresh paint then it’s worth it,” Adrian said.