A year on from a freak surfing accident that left her a quadriplegic, former lifesaver Jess Collins is grateful to be alive and amazed with the progress she has made in regaining movement.
And she knows none of that would be possible if she had not followed the basic safety rule of always surfing in groups.
Now long-time Redhead surf lifesaving clubmate and friend Boyd Conrick is helping spread that and other surf safety messages, as well as supporting Collins in her recovery, with his second children's book.
Conrick is giving all profits from At the Beach with Lizzie and Luke - Shark Sighting to Collins, starting this week with a cheque for $4020 from the sale of about 670 copies.
He launched the book last December and said sales and support were stronger than for his first work, At the Beach with Lizzie and Luke, given the proceeds were going this time to Collins.
"I try and make them vibrant and interesting while having that safety message in there," Conrick said.
"Hopefully it resonates with children as well as parents and carers."
Collins damaged her spinal cord when she fell and hit a sandbank while surfing with friends on the Gold Coast on May 31 last year.
Conscious but paralysed and face down in the water, Collins would have drowned without help from a friend.
"I think also because I have pretty much done my primary school teaching degree, I know it's so important to educate kids about surf safety," Collins said.
The book's contribution is the latest show of support for Collins, a former Australian open water surf swimming champion.
About $150,000 was raised in February at The Sunflower Festival, which was a function organised by friends at Newcastle City Hall.
"There were some amazing contributions," Jess's father, Peter, said.
"People travelled from far and wide to see Jess and support her, so it was spectacular for us."
Collins, 25, continues to work hard on her rehabilitation. She has limited use of her biceps and is recovering from nerve and tendon transplant surgery aimed at regaining wrist and finger movement.
She was able to reflect on her progress during the recent anniversary of her accident.
"I live it day to day so I lose track sometimes," she said.
"But I look back now and see how far I have come and it's amazing.
"I couldn't really move my arm at all at the start.
"I can pull my hair back now and I was able to open my bedroom door for the first time yesterday, which was pretty cool."
Collins is also taking part in a University of Newcastle 12-week clinical trial on the use of HELLEN, a bionic exoskeleton, which was initially designed to help people with neurological conditions.
The device enables Collins to stand, squat and take a step.
"It's so good," she said.
"It felt amazing to stand up and just stretch.
"And I got to give my Dad a huge hug, so it was very emotional."
For more information or to order At the Beach with Lizzie and Luke - Shark Sighting, go to lizzieandluke.com.
More than $132,000 has been raised for Collins on gofundme page Sunflowers For Jess.