A woman described as living through hell after a ferry accident left her severely traumatised, is unable to pick up even a book without experiencing pain, a court heard yesterday. Francine Louise Collins, 32, is seeking $12 million in damages from the Star Ferry Company after the August 1998 accident. The accident occurred as Mrs Collins, who was accompanied by her husband and one-year-old son, was hit by a tyre as she prepared to disembark from the ferry's lower deck. After she was struck in the neck and shoulder by the tyre - used as a buffer - she watched as it slid down her arm and landed on her baby's pram, crushing the hood. The child was unharmed. Mrs Collins went into shock after the accident, which she claims left her with permanent damage to her lower jaw and damage to her spine, resulting in restricted movement in her left arm. Yesterday her husband, Craig Collins, told Mr Justice Arjan Sakhrani that his wife had been 'living through hell' since the accident, which had left her wandering around the house in a depressed state. Mr Collins said his wife had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, which had placed significant stress on their relationship. 'She underwent the trauma where she thought that she was killed and that her son was killed. It is common for the rest of the world not to know [what it is like] or understand,' he said. Mr Collins disagreed with Star Ferry counsel Ruy Barretto's suggestion that his wife must have been coping 'well enough' as she decided to have a second child when she already had to contend with a toddler and her injuries. Mr Collins said his wife's life was in a vacuum. 'She had suffered such an enormous blow to her career . . . and one of the options we considered was to go ahead and have another child.' Physiotherapist Janice Moreton said she doubted Mrs Collins could return to her career as an accountant. 'Every time she reads a book or a newspaper or looks down for any length of time or even sleeps awkwardly she is going to be in pain,' she said. The Court of First Instance case continues.