For the last five years, Dana Vulin has woken every morning and made a choice.
She could fight – really fight – or she could wade through the tsunami-like waters threatening to overwhelm her, keeping her head bobbing above the tide, but doing little to bring her body above the horizon line.
Everyday, amid life-threatening health complications, the piqued interest of an entire nation and its media and the knowledge that there was enough evil in the world to want her dead, Dana Vulin woke up, got up and kept moving.
Dana Vulin speaks quickly, her voice full of rushing passion. She doesn’t see a need to beat around the bush, nor dance around her pain, her point or her principles.
She’s blunt and sharp, an oxymoron in every sense of the word, a woman who lived through what doctors initially deemed the unliveable, only to come out the other side with a biting need to tell her story.
And tell her story she is, in her new memoir, Worth Fighting For.
“I always say this, but [that night] is burnt into my mind,” Vulin tells Mamamia from her home in Perth.
That night, the one Vulin says she relives “over and over and over again”, is one many Australians may remember, etched into their own memories, so violent was the attack on the then 25-year-old.
In the early hours of a February morning in 2012, Vulin woke to the steps of strangers in her home. One of the intruders was a woman called Natalie who had spent the weeks prior harassing Vulin in the misguided belief she was having a relationship with her estranged husband. With little warning, and in the throes an ice-fuelled rage, Natalie doused Vulin in methylated spirits and set her alight. It would be an act that, three years later, would see her sentenced to 17 years jail.