Michael Brennan can still picture his dirtbike bearing down on him after being thrown over the handlebars at his grandfather's property near Fitzgeralds Mount, just outside Blayney.
Then, nothing, not until after he came out of a three-week coma.
Not the hour of treatment his friends and then paramedics gave to keep him alive until the chopper arrived to airlift him to Westmead Hospital, nor the emergency surgery that followed.
His head and torso took the brunt of the bike's impact on January 18 last year, the crash leaving the now 23-year-old with a collapsed lung, skull fractures and bleeding on the brain.
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The brain trauma's had a lasting impact on his speech and short-term memory. He still suffers temporary paralysis on his right side as well but there's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
"I can walk on the treadmill using a harness now, in the next few months I'm going to try without it," he said.
"I can still see the bike coming toward me. I knew I had to fight, I was too young to die."
The strength and positivity the former James Sheahan student has shown still amazes his father Ben, who joins his son for his regular physical therapy sessions at RPT Health Group.
"The way Michael has looked at it ... he's been so positive," Ben Brennan said.
"The old me wouldn't have been able to do that," Michael added.
"Looking back it was easy to be by his bedside, we were on autopilot at Westmead I think," Ben said.
"We basically got sent home after three weeks, it was tough going home, especially when we got a call the next day saying the physiotherapists had him up on the side of the bed working on him."
I can still see the bike coming toward me, I couldn't sleep because of it for a while (but) I knew I had to fight, I was too young to die.Michael Brennan
Michael's condition had improved, which has continued since returning to Orange, he's rapidly progressed in the last few weeks in particular.
"We're trying to really up the ante with his rehab now that he can tolerate it," Ben explained.
"There's no mechanical breaks in his spine so ... there's a real chance he will walk again."
"Dad says he'll take me out for dinner if I do walk again," Michael added, with a laugh.
Ben went on to explain fatigue still plagues his son late in the day but he continues to improve - the young man who was so full of life before the accident is returning.
"We've got our son back."
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