Reference > Erinsborough News > Madeleine Faces Her Demons
After the horror of her accident and robbery, the gorgeous Neighbours star is getting back to her best!
Brave Madeleine West has confronted the demons that have plagued her since a terrible accident left her physically and emotionally scarred.
Three weeks ago, cold, vulnerable and alone, she flew from Melbourne to Sydney and forced herself to stand on the street where, on Thursday June 13, she’s been hit by a bus, then rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.
The popular Neighbours star, who can’t recall what happened after walking out of an Oxford Street shop with a late-night snack, suffered cranial, facial and chest injuries. She was also robbed.
“I needed to exorcise this incident from my life. In truth, it was affecting me too much,” the bubbly 22-year-old tells Good Gossip. “Even crossing a busy road left me terrified and wanting to run across as quickly as I could. So I went to the hotel where I was planning to stay that fateful night, and at about the same time I was hit,” says Madeleine, “I went across to the supermarket and had a chat. I found a lot of people had been there on the night, and they were just wonderful. I also got the chance to thank one of the three witnesses who had helped me. I stood at the bus stop and had a look around. The most confronting moment was when I had to cross Oxford Street to go back to my hotel. I was frightened but, at the same time, I said to myself ‘I have to do this.’”
Sent off to recuperate by the Neighbours head honchos, the time passed in a painful blur. After reconstructive surgery on her face and left brow, Madeleine was terrified at the thought of facing another, more serious, operation. And her return to work and the character of Dione Bliss, may have been premature, but she couldn’t stand to let her colleagues down.
“In those three weeks, I was down and out. I couldn’t do anything,” she explains. “I had shocking headaches, horrible migraines, and poor motor skills. I was falling over and walking into walls, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. Mum had to tell me later on. It was a frightening period for a while. I had to have lots of brain scans, as often as once a week, because there was a skull fracture that was leaking. There was concern I was going to need to have a horrible operation where they cut the skull open and insert material under the brain so it stops leaking. Thankfully, that hasn’t come to anything.”
“The haemorrhaging stopped three days after the accident, for no reason. The doctors were amazed by that, as I was bleeding quite profusely. I last had a brain scan three weeks ago, but I have to bear in mind that you don’t get the all-clear with a brain injury for six to 12 months, and there are restrictions on some activities and work.”
“That first week back on the Neighbours set was just fabulous, I felt good. And then, in the second week, I crashed and burnt. I’d pushed myself too hard. I felt faint on set a few times, so eventually they sent me home early. By the fourth week, I was in control of things, but I had to be careful not to overdo it.”
The trauma she’s suffered has led Madeleine to consider having counselling in the future if she feels her mental state remains fragile. The scars on her face have become fodder for her stand-up comedy routine.
Along with patrons of North Melbourne’s Comic’s Lounge, she has a good laugh at herself on Sunday nights. “I’ve been told it could take months, and then I’ll realise I’ve come through this life-and-death situation,” she says.
“I’ve had a bit of a cry over it, and I’m sure there will come a point when it will hit home, but que sera sera. Confronting my demons by myself has really helped. I guess if I’m going to be carrying a scar, it’s testament to the fact I’ve lived through this. I’ve got a wonderful job and I work in a fabulous industry. But I’m also lucky to be here – just breathing and remembering to tell people just how much I love them.”
This article originally appeared in Woman's Day magazine