My name is Adrian and I was hit by a car on October 28, 1987- 2 days before my 14th birthday. I was knocked off my bike and landed on the road head first.
I woke up after being unconscious for 4 weeks. I suffered Acquired Brain Injury- unable to walk, talk and very minimal use of the left side of my body.
Doctor said that I will slowly improve over the next 2 years, but talking will be the last to improve. I was determined to prove him wrong, so I started talking after a month. It took me 6 months to be able to get out of my wheelchair and then another 6 months to walk unaided (albeit slowly!).
After 1 year, I went back to school part-time. I traveled from school to hospital appointments daily. It was difficult for me, as I had to deal with the pressures of school and rehabilitation concurrently, but I managed to adapt, grow and continue through and pass year 12.
After school I worked for a while selling lollies door to door (where I ended up eating half my profits!), until I got a job working at a clothing wholesaler in Carlton. And I’m still here 26 years later.
I’ve had many adventures along the way- many times I fell over and had to pick myself up (both metaphorically and physically!).
Although I had visited camp in 2016, as part of a research study being undertaken with Heads Together and Monash University looking at the experience of a recreational camp for families with a child or young person with acquired brain injury, my first ‘real’ camp was in May 2017 as a family volunteer.
It was a weekend which blew me away. I got to know my volunteer family and spend time with them. I met other families. I met other volunteers. We talked, played games that made us laugh, and danced at the disco. I was touched to hear people share stories and experiences at the Fire of Friendship, but it was Magic Moments which really moved me. I thought that as I was a new volunteer, I wouldn’t really be in people’s minds. But for each statement read out, I felt a hand touch me and I realised that in some way people remembered me.
What do I get out of volunteering? As a neuropsychology student and researcher, being at camp gives a human story to ABI and reminds me to keep that story foremost in my mind and in my work. As a person, volunteering at camp reminds me to face challenges head on – and always try to see the sunny side of things. Thank you for the opportunity to join the Heads Together community. I look forward to many more camps!
Getting involved with Heads Together has been THE BEST THING I have ever done. They provided so much love, laughter and support to everyone involved- whether it be young people with the injuries or their families. To keep this organisation doing the amazing work that it does, I have chosen to walk 50K in a day and hope that you can get behind me.
Marina’s fundraising target = $1000, sponsor her here
Some comments from the walk Team of 2017
“I remember the highlight as we were approaching the end. As we stumbled into our 94th kilometre we were greeted with hugs and well wishes from the Heads Together family.”
“I chose to challenge myself, to push past the point where my body said stop. For Reuben, my son with an ABI, he has no choice. Reuben meets challenge face on and with a beautiful smile. Reuben inspires me more than he knows.”
“The 2017 walk was bigger and better with lots of new walkers and a new route. It was such an inspiration having Andrew and his family join us for the weekend and the Patford family get involved on Sunday. Having Heads Together families join us showed everyone what you can do if you put your mind to it.”
And they are all coming back to do it again! Why not join them and register a team