James Wood – “This doesn’t happen to me!”…. that was what went through my head when the doctor told me I had broken my back & damaged my spinal cord.
I was just getting to a great stage in my life, living independently, great job & career options, nice car & a couple of motorbikes. Good friends and a steady relationship.
All of this changed because I made some wrong CHOICES while doing a simple job at work!
I was airlifted to hospital and then spent the next 3 months in hospital and then a rehabilitation centre for another 6 months.
It’s quite ironic that it took nine months as I basically had to learn to live all over again!
Everything that I used to be able to do easily now took much more time and planning, getting dressed, showering & personal care, I had to learn to drive a car using hand controls, and many other things that we all take for granted.
And then there are the things that I can’t do anymore. I can’t change a light bulb, I can’t push a lawn mower and it is almost impossible to take the rubbish bin out for collection.
One of the things I really struggled with after my accident was having to ask people to help me to do things that I should be able to do for myself! You have no idea how that affects your pride!At the time of my accident, the organisation where I worked did not offer me alternative employment, so I found myself unable to go back to the job I had spent all of my adult life doing and training for. I had to learn to live and support myself again.
As a result of my accident my career opportunities were wiped out, I just can’t do some of the things I used to be able to do. Since my accident I have had to put up with some jobs that I would not have done if I had more opportunities.
I had some good people around me, my family helped me to cope both physically & mentally. I also had a couple of mates that gave me a hand when required
But it wasn’t easy.
One of the things that happened in hospital is that we would sit around and talk about our accidents, this is when I first started to realise that most of the people I was with had been hurt due to the CHOICES that they had made…. And most of them could have been prevented!
When I went through hospital & then rehab, I saw how other people were coping with their injuries, some turned to alcohol, some dabbled in some serious drugs as a way of trying to deal with what they were going through. And some people don’t cope when they have a serious accident.
I now share my story with others in the hope that it can give them some information on what it would be like to get hurt at work.
My message is to think about the CHOICES you make, don’t let it get to the stage where you have to work out how or if you will cope with a serious injury!
Workplace accidents, we always think they happen to the other bloke. How wrong can we be? So think about the choices you make, then consider the consequences.
James tells the story of his accident and how it changed his life. The presentation requires approximately 60 minutes & includes:
- Description of the accident
- Factors leading up to the accident
- No job plan
- Taking a risk
- Not protecting himself
- How the accident affected other people
- His workmates
- His family
- Getting back to work (or not)
- Life after injury
The CHOICES presentation also allows time for interaction & a question/answer session.