I acquired a traumatic brain injury as a result of being hit by a truck while crossing the road at Bonny Hills in July 2014. I don’t remember much of the next two months.
I was flown by helicopter from Port Macquarie Base Hospital to John Hunter Hospital at Newcastle, where I was put on Life Support. During the month spent in ICU, I underwent two craniotomies. The doctors warned that I might be paralyzed permanently on my right side. I contracted pneumonia which resulted in constant suctioning of my lungs and was given a tracheostomy for breathing and a stomach peg for food and fluid. My family was constantly by my side, talking and reading to me, and playing my favourite music.
After ICU, I went to the Brain Injury Ward for another month, where I was given two craniectomies (to replace my head bones).
When I went to Royal Rehab, I started to wake up and remember some things. I was incontinent and could not walk, talk, eat nor drink. The nurses were very kind to me.
With the help of therapists, I began to use the motormed, sit, stand with help, and walk with a frame with assistance. I started to communicate with body language, sounds and an ipad program. Also, I used a trike to peddle around the grounds.
Complications caused me to undergo another craniotomy and craniectomy. During this time, I was sometimes sad and worried. I looked forward to visits from my mum each day as well as dad, stepdad, brothers, stepsister, nan, uncles, aunts and cousins on weekends. I began to play guitar with assistance and play the hand drum as my brother and stepdad played guitar.
After ten months, I left for Port Macquarie Private Hospital Rehab, where my therapies continued and I finally began to eat by myself.
In November, 2015, I moved to a private rental house in Port Macquarie, with twenty-four hour care. Since then, my days have been busy with physio, hydro, speech pathology, beach visits, choir and guitar group. I see my family most days. My house is a beauty!
I’m getting better and better. I love to eat, laugh, play music, sing, watch videos, play games, do exercise and “hang out” with family and carers. I no longer have the stomach peg and my walking is improving every day. I help dress and shave myself and help prepare meals. My speech is much clearer now. My family loves me and I love them all.
In the future, I hope to walk without the frame. I want to join a band and get a girlfriend and become a dad someday. I am the most positive person I know. I have a happy life!