A surgeon has revealed how close Kate Campbell came to dying in 2007 when she was seriously injured in a boat crash on the Canning River.
Specialist physician Gunesh Rajan said the then-teenager's survival was a "miracle" and her painful recovery was amazing.
Ms Campbell, now a 25-year-old accountant living a full and healthy life, has written a book documenting her struggles to overcome an inability to swallow, eat or speak after 12 days in a coma after the accident.
She also reveals that in the years after the crash, she was a victim of sexual assault and became stuck in an abusive relationship while living in Europe.
"I wanted to get out all the pain I'd experienced throughout the entire time," she said.
"A lot of women go through that and are ashamed of it.
"It's not talked about because they think it's all their own fault."
Exclusive extracts from My Story: A Path to Hope will be published in the Agenda section tomorrow and interviews with Ms Campbell, her surgeon and her lawyer will appear in the _West Weekend _magazine.
In the book, Ms Campbell gives a personal account of her almost five-year struggle to get compensation from the boat's drunken driver, Luke Woollard, and his parents Keith, a prominent cardiologist, and Janet, an Independent MP until the State election.
Ms Campbell said it was "not a revenge book" but was written in the hope of inspiring others and to bring about changes to third-party boat insurance.
She also covers the difficulties victims encounter in dealing with legal matters at a vulnerable time.
Ms Campbell said the system should be made fairer.
"Unfortunately, I was an average Joe and average Joes don't have a lot of money or a lot of legal knowledge either," she said. "There are quite a few things in the legal system that should change.
"It shouldn't be about whether you've got the money. It should be about whether you're right or wrong."