Like most people out there, my life is hectic. It’s a non-stop circus of work, chores, travel, entertainment, eating right staying fit, going out with friends and then collapsing onto the bed each night, wondering where all my 24 hours went.
The difference is, I'm a C5 quadriplegic. According to the hospital my injury is 'complete', my spinal cord is completely cut and there’s no chance of recovering.
It all started 13 yrs ago, I was young and high, on a road trip with my friends during my last university break before graduation. One minute I was chasing pelicans by the lake, the next I woke up in ICU, hooked up to all these tubes.
Our rental car rolled on the slippery road, and somehow this 1year old almost brand new car wasn’t equipped with any airbag. The rain was so heavy they couldn’t send me a helicopter, so I laid in the mud by the country road on the border of Victoria and NSW for hours before an ambulance took me to a nearby medical centre with my broken neck. It then took another 24 hours before I reached a Melbourne hospital where I was seen by a specialist doctor.
Somehow I didn’t die!
Just in a coma for weeks.
Remember that moment when the doctor leans over and say this to you?
"You are in whatever whatever hospital and I'm Dr. Blah Blah.... I'm afraid you've been in an accident... "
My doc didn’t beat around the bush. The death sentence came quickly.
"You have sustained a spinal cord injury, we have tried everything we can, but I’m afraid your condition is likely to be permanent..."
There aren’t enough swear words in the world for that moment.
I was still hallucinating from coming out of the coma, at the end of my bed stood the mom and dad I haven’t seen for years…
I was numb, so numb I couldn’t feel any sadness. I couldn’t speak, because I was on life support. I couldn’t swallow, because my throat was slit. I couldn’t move, except for my face. I couldn’t feel my body, like it was never there.
Time stopped, at that very second. Everything I ever knew, there ever was… was no longer. Everything I loved in life became no more than a slide show of my memories. All my hopes and dreams for the future slipped away in front of my eyes with every drip that went into my vein and every beep on the heart monitor.
But then I thought: ‘Well, I’m alive. So it can only go up from here...’
That was the start of my "second life".
This is my journey.
Hopefully my stories could help you navigate your new life. Most people don’t get the chance to start again, but you do.
And maybe, my stories and tips would help you get to where you want to be in life just that little faster and easier.