Just like her favourite flower, Jessica Collins radiates warmth and thrives under the sun.
A volunteer surf lifesaver on beaches across Newcastle for more than a decade, for Jess – a bright, outgoing 24 year-old – life has revolved around the ocean. When she wasn’t giving up her time to protect the community at the beach, she was competing at it. As an incredibly talented swimmer and ironwoman, Jess has represented her state and country on countless occasions, at events across the globe.
Cruelly, the ocean is also the cause of her greatest challenge yet.
On Thursday May 31, 2018, Jess fell from her board while surfing at Snapper Rocks and hit her head – instantly paralysing her below the neck.
Classified as a quadriplegic, doctors say it’s highly unlikely she’ll walk again.
But Jess’ infectious positivity hasn’t waned.
Throughout the early stages of her recovery, her strength, determination and outlook on life has inspired all who have shared her presence.
Jess is determined to defy her injury, and once again stand tall and face the sun.
The Sunflowers for Jess campaign aims to help her do that. And in time, she hopes to empower others in similar circumstances.
But we need your help. Please make a tax deductible donation and support Jess with her recovery to return to sport!