One fateful day in 2009 my whole world changed forever.
After my motorbike ran out of fuel on a dangerous stretch of a busy freeway just North of Sydney. I stepped over the guard rail to escape the traffic only to slip on loose rocks, slide down a slope and off a 20m cliff. When I landed I shattered several vertebrae, permanently damaging my spinal cord at T11.
The Spinal cord is about the consistency of toothpaste, once damaged, as with most parts of the nervous system, it can not repair its self.
Every day, one person in Australia will suffer a similar injury.
I consider myself lucky firstly to be alive, nobody knew I was there, I was discovered by an RTA patrolman.
I have full use of my hands, because of this I can continue to live a fully independent life.
And more to the point I was covered by Work Cover under a 'Journey Claim' as I was on my way home from work. Although legislation has changed since and journey claims no longer exist.
This cover means that my employer insurance company covers virtually any cost that arises from my injury, for life.
I can not imagine how hard life would be with out any financial assistance. Sadly everything, from wheelchairs to medical equipment is priced at a premium because it is a necessity for people with a spinal cord injuries. My light weight wheel chair for instance is worth almost $10,000. Even more ludicrous is the annual cost for me to manage my bladder, coming to a whopping $30,000. I require a surgical procedure twice a year and need special disposable catheters costing $5 every time I need to pee.
This is just a small example of how financially burdening a spinal cord injury can be.
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia is a not for profit organisation that supports people with SCI's who do not have any such cover. They assist people through their various physical, psychological, social and financial challenges arising from their injury.
We aim to raise funds to help this worthy cause and all the folks in oz battling with such a traumatic, life altering injury.
If you can spare a few dollars please donate now.