In 2002, Madeleine West went out to grab snacks.
Twenty minutes later, she was loaded with everything you could need for a late night meal, from cereal to chocolate to corn chips.
Satisfied, she ventured back out onto Sydney’s Oxford St to head back to her hotel.
Madeleine West on her split from Shannon Bennett. Post continues below video.
Stopping near a bus stop – yes, on the footpath – she turned her head to get her bearings. Then she was hit by a bus.
The actress, now 39, sustained a number of serious injuries, some of which are visible in a graphic photo she shared to Instagram in May, to commemorate 18 years since her near-death experience.
"Today I’m celebrating 18 years since being hit by a bus in the head," she wrote alongside the image. "Always wanted to be the kind of girl who stopped traffic. Just preferably not with my face."
The photo was taken on West’s road to recovery, "but doesn’t reveal the three skull fractures, leaking brain fluid, the cerebral hemorrhage and hematoma, the busted teeth, broken capillaries, the wounds that wouldn’t knit, the endless nights of excruciating pain, the months of therapy to regain gross motor skills".
The image did, however, show the impact the accident had on her appearance.
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Today I’m celebrating 18 years since being hit by a bus in the head…always wanted to be the kind of girl who stopped traffic. Just preferably not with my face. This pic was snapped on the road to healing, but doesn’t reveal the three skull fractures leaking brain fluid, the cerebral hemorrhage and hematoma, the busted teeth, broken capillaries, the wounds that wouldn’t knit, the endless nights of excruciating pain, the months of therapy to regain gross motor skills, but it demonstrates what I thought was the greatest tragedy: the effect it had on my #appearance. However: that would be the greatest #gift. You see, The way we look, as definitive as we think it is, actually makes up the tiniest portion of who we are. Yet if we take all we are, all we have to offer, our gifts, our personality, our ambitions, our #dreams, and try to cram it into that tiny percentage, then how much will we miss out on? How much will the world miss out on? And what kind of world do we live in if everyone slices and dices the essence of who they are to allow their most definitive character trait to be their appearance? I learned that no-one should ever be forced to give up their dreams. No matter who we are, where we come from or how we look, our dreams are what sustain us. Our ambitions get us out of bed in the morning, and if you have the #courage, the #determination, the drive, and the willingness to work hard to transform the dream into reality, then nothing can stop you … not even a #bus. To all the girls and boys out there, desperately primping, pimping and punishing themselves, labouring to make themselves Insta-ready, editing those selfies, all for a world that tells them their nose doesn’t seem to fit their face, that their butt is too big, those boobs are too small, where is your waist? Your perfect hair? Your perfect teeth? Your perfect mani-pedi? I call BS, and encourage you to as well. The glass ceiling is yours for the breaking, and at the end of the day, the most attractive quality you can possess is belief in yourself.