On the 8th May 1994, I was found by a shopping trolley collector, lying in a stormwater drain. At first he thought I was dead but when he got to me, he realized I was still alive! To this day we still don’t know exactly what happened but Police feel assault was involved because of my injuries. It was Mother’s Day. Poor old Mum! I gave she and Dad a lot of stress, along with the family and friends!
The night before I was out with my girlfriend and friends. I was drinking a bit, as I had just returned from an awesome holiday in the USA. I was looking for work with one of my old jobs in security at hotels. I left my friends to go to this hotel. After that I have no memory of what happened. My girlfriend lives a few streets away and I was going to meet up with her there later.
I was rushed to the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) by ambulance and was in a coma for ten days. I was at RNSH for a couple of weeks. I had a brain stem injury. I met Dr King and went to Coorabell (which was a unit in the former Royal Rehabilitation Centre Ryde). I don’t have any memory of RNSH.
I was a ‘MESS’. I couldn’t talk, walk or sit up! I had to learn how to walk and talk again and that took about three months for a ‘basic fix’. After that I was placed in high dependency at Royal Rehab.
My physio was Margaret James and she got me going! “Thank God for Coorabell! The staff there were brilliant!”
I couldn’t get over my speech, my balance and my injuries. I was so impatient to get better but it took time! I was at Royal Rehab for just over three months.
It took a while to get my licence back. I was always off to the gym to improve on my weaknesses. My speech was my main concern, as I just sounded drunk all the time. It took time but it improved “big time”.
I am an electrical fitter by trade, I returned to that sort of work but I found it difficult and was very slow.
I met up with an old work colleague who was a DJ in clubs. I studied this and landed jobs as my confidence got better. People are drunk at night clubs, so I felt I could say things over the microphone and felt confident (LOL). I worked in some of the biggest clubs in NSW, worked with some of the biggest bands in Australia, then went on to Club Med, P&O and Princess Cruises, and DJ’d around the world! Unbelievable!
If someone said to me that I would be DJing around the world in a couple of years when I first went to Royal Rehab, I would have thought that they had the brain damage! It’s funny how things happen!
In 2008 I gave that work away, as I had too! (LOL), It’s a young person’s gig! I work now as a Sales Rep for a meat wholesaler as I love cooking on the BBQ!
My memory and balance are still not the best but you learn how to deal with it!
Bottom line is “Don’t give up, as things happen!”