The doctor had told her there was a 95 per cent chance she would never walk again after she broke her back in an accident.
But Ms Zaiton Majeed fought hard to recover and was able to walk again six months later.
Now, after defying the odds, she hopes to inspire other women to believe in themselves. For that, she recently wrote a book celebrating the strengths of being a woman.
For her message to women on International Women's Day, which is today, she said: "A woman can be whatever she wants to be, with faith and love. You just have to believe and take the first step. Don't worry about what other people say."
On April 22, 2005, Ms Zaiton was on her way home when the taxi she was in rammed into the back of a stationary military truck on Mandai Road.
She spent three weeks in hospital. And while she escaped paralysis, she had to have eight screws and two metal rods mounted to her fractured spine.
Recounting the time after the accident, Miss Zaiton told The New Paper yesterday: "The pain was excruciating, but the bigger pain was thinking that I was about to die."
Initially, the pain was so bad that each time she wanted to move, she would have to "click" for a dose of transfused painkiller.
Despite the doctor's grim prognosis, she remained optimistic.
Armed with a steely determination, she researched alternative ways to get better and found that acupuncture would help, so she had up to three treatments a week on top of the mandatory twice-a-week physiotherapy.
Ms Zaiton's close friend, Ms Azizah Hassan, 41, said: "She (Ms Zaiton) believed 100 per cent that she was going to walk again. To her, there was no doubt about it."
Ms Azizah, who is self-employed, was also in the taxi when the accident happened.
She tore a tendon in her right arm and was hospitalised for a few days.
It took Ms Zaiton six months before she could finally walk again and she said she had often asked herself then: "Do I want to be a victim or a victor?"
She chose to be a victor and found her way to recovery, but she wishes that she had a mentor during that period.
Now, as a life coach, she is seeking to mentor others on how to live fuller lives.
Ms Zaiton, who cites Oprah Winfrey and Mother Theresa as her role models, said: "I want to be a GPS (Global Positioning System) for others. I've found my life mission, which is to empower, educate and enrich."
The dynamic woman wrote her latest book, 5 Things I Love About Being A Woman, in four weeks. It was released on Amazon last month.
As a motivational self-help book, it features Miss Zaiton's own story and that of 13 other inspiring women who come from different backgrounds.
She said: "I believe that ordinary women have extraordinary stories. They need a voice - a credible space where they can be vulnerable and feel safe to share.
This article was first published on March 8, 2016.
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