My name is Shane Agnew and I became a ventilated quadriplegic after a dirt bike accident (see My Accident). It happened seven days after my 20th birthday. Although I can’t move my arms and legs or breathe independently I have never lost my positive outlook on life, ask anyone that knows me. I always think it could have been worse. I could be brain damaged, still, be in a coma or I could have even died so I consider myself lucky in that respect.
For the first four weeks in Fremantle, I was unconscious whilst my parents and friends waited to see if I would survive. Would I die, would I be brain damaged or would I wake up ok. Slowly I started to wake, answering questions with my eyebrows than my eyelids and eventually being able to mouth words.
Doctors were amazed as nobody has ever survived a spinal cord injury this high (between C1 and the skull (see MY XRAYS). It was all thanks to the person and the life-saving actions that he took at the scene of the accident. I have him to thank for my life.
I spent a total of two and a half years in the hospital. Seven weeks in Fremantle Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a very critical condition. Another seven weeks in Royal Perth Hospital ICU undergoing surgery to re-attach my skull to my spine. Finally, two years in Royal Perth Shenton Park Rehabilitation Campus waiting for the Ventilator Dependent Quadriplegic Program (VDQP) to be set up and finalized. This program would fund staff, equipment, and modifications to my house enabling me to live at home.
When I was transferred to Royal Perth Hospital ICU it was intimidating for me as Fremantle had become my comfort zone and I felt safe there. Anyway, the move was on because I needed the operation to stabilize my head to my spine.
My operation was booked for the day after I arrived. The operation was going to be delayed until the Leading doctor intervened and the operation went ahead on the scheduled date.