In March 2014, at just 22, Newcastle Knights player Alex McKinnon was told he would live the rest of his life as an incomplete quadriplegic after fracturing his C4 and C5 vertebrae in a football tackle.
“They told us he’d never walk again, he may never breathe on his own and he’ll be in a wheelchair. That was really hard,” says his girlfriend, 22-year-old Teigan Power.
Just days later, doctors warned her that he may not make it through the night.
However, Alex did more than just survive. When he came out of his induced coma he proposed – just three weeks after the near-fatal tackle.
Six months later, he finally left hospital, with Teigan as his fiancée and his carer.
WATCH: Alex talks about his life-changing injury in the player below. Post continues after the video...
Every morning she gets him dressed, makes his meals, pushes his wheelchair around and drives him anywhere he needs to go. At night, she helps him from his chair to his spot beside her in bed.
“If it wasn’t for Teigan I wouldn’t be in as good a place as I am mentally,” says Alex, now 24.
"It’s not all rainbows, it’s tough, but you’ve got to accept that and move on.”
Read the full story in the new issue of Woman's Day - on sale now! And if you have an inspirational carer you'd like to thank do it in person, jump onto carersweek.com.au/make-a-pledge, leave a comment on Facebook/WomansDayAUS or post a message of thanks on Twitter or Instagram tagging @womansdayaus