Married at First Sight star Martha Kalifatidis has revealed a heartbreaking story about an accident that killed her cousin George - and almost claimed her own life.
While on holidays in Cairns this week, the makeup artist wore a bikini which drew attention to a very large scar on her thigh.
And now in an interview with 9Honey, the 31-year-old revealed where it came from.
"My cousin had picked me and two friends up from the bar we were at. He was super-protective and always kept a close eye on me especially if I was out -- he was always a phone call away," Martha said, recalling the incident.
"He had not been drinking and was the designated driver. We were having too much fun, so we went for a joy ride before we headed home… and lost control and hit a tree."
At the time, Martha was just 16-years-old and the "force" of the accident "was so strong" that the tree they hit uprooted, leaving both Martha and her cousin trapped inside the car.
"My other two friends were able to escape the car unscathed," she said. "Unfortunately for George and I, it was a different story."
"He was taken out of the car after an hour and then it wasn't until an hour-and-a-half later that I was cut free using the jaws of life. I was very lucky to be alive," she added.
After the accident, not only was she mourning the loss of her cousin, the Melbourne local was wheelchair bound and had to learn to walk again, after shattering her thighbone.
"I had to have several operations on my leg during high school. I missed a lot of school," she says.
"I felt lost and didn't have much direction until I was a lot older. While all my friends were having sweet sixteenths and going out on first dates, I was learning to walk again. It was really hard, but it's made me grow to be really resilient and who I am today."
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Martha then stayed at her grandparent's house because she "needrf full-time care" and her family's house was not wheelchair-friendly.
"I was constantly surrounded by people," she revealed. "Also my friends were amazing and never left my side!"
Losing her cousin in such tragic circumstances and almost losing her own life has put things into perspective for the reality star.
"I realised very early on in life that we never know what tomorrow will bring and just how short our time on earth really is," she told the outlet.
"Not much can get me down these days, I always look on the bright side."
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