I was in theatre for five hours and the operation was a success. I thought I was going to wake up all groggy from the anesthetic, but instead, I woke up, looked at the time and said: “PUT THE SIMPSONS ON”.
I was only allowed to sit up 30 degrees for three months after the operation. That meant four and a half months flat on my back which was not fun at all. Eventually, I got up into a wheelchair, not that I used it very often. I felt that there wasn’t any point of getting up just to sit around the hospital.
I was unable to eat or drink, so I was fed by a tube that went straight into my stomach for 18 months. I then had an operation called a Laryngectomy. This is an operation where they bring your trachea (windpipe) to the front of your neck. Your esophagus (food pipe) and your trachea are separated. This means there is no chance of food going down to your lungs and causing a chest infection.
Before my accident life at nineteen was great. I was a very active person, I liked going to the beach, riding my motorbike, getting up to mischief with my mates and playing the guitar. I wasn’t the best at playing but loved making music all the same. I didn’t mind if it was drums, bass or whatever instrument I could get my hands on, let’s just say I liked making noise.
I was working in the scaffolding industry and it was physically demanding work. I used to have lots of fun with the bloke’s so you didn’t notice the hard work too much, although there are a lot of scaffolders that would disagree with that comment.
I was restoring an old car a 1966 hr holden special and it is nearly completed, Even though I can’t drive it is still my pride and joy. I had the motor rebuilt for free by my mate; he owned the workshop that I had my accident in front of.
I still live life as if my accident never happened. I don’t go out as much but I make up for it when I do. I go out to the movies, concerts, parties, restaurants, and pubs. I used to spend my money at pubs and drinks for parties, but now I would rather use it for concerts and dinners.
My old friends have drifted away but I have made several more like nurses and other quadriplegics and paraplegic’s. Also, people who have seen my advertisement for carers in the paper have phoned to meet me. One of my mates said he met 75% of his friends after his accident and they will do anything to help him.
I now live with my wife, Melissa and am surrounded by family and friends. Life is once again great and I look forward to my future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]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.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”136″ img_size=”full”][vc_single_image image=”121″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]