Anne Cahill Lambert, at her home in Lyneham. Photo: Rohan Thomson
A heartless hit and run on New Year's Eve has left a chronically ill Canberra woman struggling to lift a loaf of bread.
Anne Cahill Lambert suffers from a lung condition fibrosing alveolitis and cycles up to 80km a week, oxygen tank strapped to her back.
She was riding along the bicycle path on Commonwealth Avenue near the corner of Parkes Way at about 2pm last Tuesday when she says a car hit her from behind and sped off.
Ms Cahill Lambert says she fell to road, suffering nasty bruises and abrasions, and one of her finger nails was torn off.
The passengers on an ACTION bus and a pair of passing motorists came to her aid, but Ms Cahill Lambert said she was furious the offending driver did not stop.
“I'm now mightily angry that this person who didn't even bother to stop and who was doing the wrong thing has caused me not to be able to maintain some level of fitness and some level of sensibility going into the new year,” she said.
“Exercise keeps you sane especially when you have a chronic illness as I do.”
Ms Cahill Lambert chairs the remuneration tribunal for the ACT's Legislative Assembly and has been an outspoken advocate for organ donation and free oxygen therapy for those who need it, and was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2005.
Her lung condition is stable, which means she is not currently “active” on the organ transplant list.
Ms Cahill Lambert said it would be weeks before she would be able to cycle again and her portable oxygen machine would need to be repaired.
She was struggling to write and perform household tasks as a result of her injuries.
Ms Cahill Lambert said if the offending driver had stopped and apologised it was likely recriminations would have been minimal.
“I am angry that I've cost the health system money, the police money and resources… there's all of those costs to consider that I'm sure the ACT tax payer would prefer to see spent on schools and education and the health and wellbeing of its citizens,” she said.
She urged Canberra road users to share the road safely and if an incident did occur, to stop.
A spokesman for ACT Policing said officers attended the scene and investigations into the incident are ongoing.