Bernice: I was a back-seat passenger in a car accident, so I was. And the car just seemed, it, ehm, we were going out this night and it was a bad night, windy night, and the car just went out of control and just tumbled over and unfortunately, ehm, I got trapped in the car and in the process of taking me out, I, b, I broke my neck. So, uhm, it, well, it w, it's five years now, so, my goodness! Ehm.
Alison: Uh, I suppose it changed your, your life and, uh, I mean the, can you remember much about the, sort of, immediate aftermath and coming to terms with it all?
Bernice: Yes, well, to be honest, for a long time – it would hae been six tae eight weeks – I didn't really know what was going on. I thought this was all just a big, it was great, because I was getting so much attention and I thought, “My goodness, I'm going to snap out of this in no time!" But, ehm, no, in relation to an accident like this I don't think you ever as such come to terms with it. You learn to live with it and in relation to change it is so unbelievable. You go from being completely independent to being completely dependent and when you are dependent on other people it's a very frustrating and extremely hard thing to deal with. But, ehm, in relation to dependency I would depend on someone, eh, to get me out of bed; to take me about from a to b; to get me back into bed; if I drop something on the floor that I can't pick up. Wee silly things that people take for granted I would need assistance with. So it, something, like, I mean, never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined it. And one thing I do know about myself now: where before my accident I never noticed a wheelchair, now you see every wheelchair. You see every step that you never noticed; you see where there's a disabled toilet, where there's not a disabled toilet. So not only does it change your life, but it changes the way you look at life and the things that you take for granted, you know, practically and mentally as such, psychologically, you know. But as for coming to terms with it, I couldn't say probably that I've come to terms with it or that I will ever come to terms with it, but that you do learn to live with it, cause there's no, there's not really anything else for it, so there is.
Alison: Were you, were you well treated in the hospital? Did they, did they help you, you know, uh, with the, sort of, mental adjustment si, side of things as well as the physical care?
Bernice: Och yes, uh, Musgrave was brilliant. I would have been there for about three months or four months. So it was mainly the physical aspect of it: the learning to get in and get out of bed; the, you know, just l, with that and I think with that comes, ehm, the learning to live with it, do you know what I mean? As for counselling, I suppose, to be honest, everybody's, “Oh you need to see a counsellor, you need to see a psychiatrist," but from my point of view I was one of these people that, I'm not going to get told from somebody, someone who does, has never been through it, ehm, how to deal with it. So how, from my point of view, I would learn to live with it or learn to deal with it, would be to talk to other people in the same position as myself. And likewise patients within the hospital would help each other, would talk about different experiences; what has helped them; what wheelchair's good, what wheelchair's not, you know, so patients sort of help themselves psychologically. And then the hospital, the nurses, oh, they were great. They would've, ehm, done, eh, helped out with the physical aspects of it. So no, the hospital’s good.
Alison: Did, did your family help a lot?
Bernice: Oh yeah. To be honest my, I think, it probably brought us all closer together. My family are, I'd say that they have, probably, what got me this far, you know, my mom and dad and my two sisters, they've been great. And even the surrounding community. That just sh, because living within a rural community, I think, everybody knows everybody, which people say isn't a good thing, but in relation from my experience it was a great thing, because they all stood by me and even to this day they're always looking out for ye, you know what I mean? If I was, say, in the house on my own, there would be somebody about call in, if you ever need anything. So the, my family were unreal and to this day they still are unreal, both on practical aspects and, you know, if I ever need to talk or whatever, they're there. But no, definitely, the, I think it is your family that gets you through. And what the doctor did say: it was a make-or-break. It either held the family together or it could totally tear a family apart. So I was lucky, in my position, that it g, st, s, got us sticking together.
 Musgrave presumably refers to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast.