photo of John with his family on top of Mount Kosciosko

John

The day was an incredibly normal day in Sydney town. The sun was out and people were making their way over the Harbour Bridge on their way to work. I was riding my Vespa and was involved in a reasonably low level traffic accident whilst changing lanes. I hit my head on a car on the way down and that pretty much drew a line in the sand in my life.

I was rushed to hospital and put under care for some time. It was a little while until anyone was advised where I was as they were trying to find out who the man on the Vespa was. My family was then given the usual horror stories about my recovery. Basically they were told that there would be no recovery because if I survived then I would be a vegetable. I did recover but have limited use of my right-hand side.

There was a morning in Royal Rehab when my brain got working again. It was a strange day. I woke up and was for the most part pretty similar to who I had been. I had been an awful person up until then and decided once and for all that that is was that. I began going to the gym, walking (which various people thought was madness) and trying to get myself back together.  My family has been incredibly supportive through all of this.

I entertained the idea of working back in design fairly swiftly. I realised over time that the difficulty I faced was that I simply could not keep up with the pressure I was under from my old self. I needed another vocation. When I started this process I felt like I was 16 and what shall I do? I did the same thing as when I was 16 and decided that I love bicycles so that is that. The incredible thing is that I feel like I have to a certain extent started again. There is a part of me that is terrified because I refuse to be unsuccessful and a part of me that is excited about what may be.

This process will take my entire life. A lot of people look at this as an unattainable goal. I simply feel that as I am alive I am better off. I am a husband, father, brother, son and friend which to me represents a victory with more carefully measured steps to come.