10 months ago

Inform issue 24 – Autumn 2018

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  • Survivors
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In this issue of Inform, we celebrate achievements. We follow Independence Australia's residential client Peter as he looks back on some of the adventures he has had along the way of 50 years as a wheelchair user.


8 Feature

Once a teen hero, Independence Australia residential services client Peter’s life was turned upside down when he sustained a spinal cord injury jumping into his local Kiewa River in Wodonga. 50 years down the track, we look back at his life and the successes he’s had along the way. Fifty years in a chair It was a sunny September day in 1967, and 14-year-old Peter was swinging from a rope into the Kiewa River with friends. However, a wrong mid-air manoeuvre landed Peter face down on the riverbank, fracturing several vertebrae in his neck, and leaving him a quadriplegic. Compounding this tragedy was the fact that just a year prior, in that same river, Peter had selflessly helped to pull three people from a sinking car. Reflecting on the accident now, Peter remarks on the funny way the universe chose to thank him for that good deed. Following his injury Peter was not expected to survive, and medical professionals told him that from the start. In the ’60s disability was not fully understood or supported, so Peter and his family were simply told that if he made it to 21 he would have lived a great life. He has since outlived most of those medical professionals and he has spent much of his time living in defiance of others. Inform Autumn 2018 9