I Have Not Failed

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison


“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

You Only Live Once

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

Be Yourself

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Try, Try Again

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields

Explore, Dream, Discover

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from...

Dance Like Nobodys Watching

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”...

Don’t Cry Because It’s Over

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Mind Over Matter

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Bernard M. Baruch

Reach High

“The greater damage for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it it too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo
The morning of Sunday July the 25th 2021, began as so many others had, I got up, made breakfast for everyone, and fed the cat.
After breakfast, I had a shower, and after that, things started to happen, that would change me forever.
I got out of the shower and felt a little light headed. After years with Chelsea SES, I was very aware of F,A.S.T, the signs to look for of a stroke.
I checked in the bathroom mirror, and saw the right side of my mouth was a little bit lower than the left.
I then lifted both arms straight out in front of me, and once again, the right arm was a bit wobbly and kept dropping.
I called my wife Maryann, and my voice was definitely different, some slurring and difficulty stringing words together.
My first thought was that I was in a bit of trouble, and I managed to get to a seat in the lounge and told Maryann to call Marie, our wonderful neighbour who happens to be a nurse.
She came straight over and as soon as she saw me, grabbed my phone, and called 000.
In no time, a Paramedic was at the door and began checking me and taking blood pressure and other checks. Soon after, a second Ambulance arrived and I was soon in the back, on the way to Monash Hospital under lights and when needed, siren.
On arrival at Monash, I was taken straight through for a Scan, but it showed nothing, and in fact, it looked like I would be going back home. Then things began to worsen a little and I was told I would be kept in overnight for observation.
Around Midnight, I tried to roll over in bed, and realised that I couldn’t move, that was scary to say the least.
Another emergency scan around 2am, but again, it showed nothing. Then I was moved to the High Dependency Unit of the Stroke ward. At 6 am, I was taken for an MRI, and this time, it showed that I had had an Ischemic Stroke on the left hand side of my brain stem.
So began almost 2 weeks in hospital where I had no movement at all on my right hand side, couldn’t swallow, and had breathing issues.
There were certainly some dark moments, is this my future, is this as good as I’m going to be, questions, but never giving up.
Next stop at the start of August was Kingston Rehab. On the day I arrived, I spoke to Maryann on the phone, as due to COVID, through the entire time, there were no visitors allowed. I told her, that if I was lucky, I might be able to come home at Christmas for a visit.
At that point, to go to the bathroom, I needed 3 nurses and a wheelchair.
So began a regime of speech therapy, physio, and occupational therapy, and then the miracle happened.
3 weeks after being admitted to Kingston, on my birthday, the 24th of August, I walked out of the hospital after being discharged and went home to my family.
All through this time, I remained positive, not searching for someone to blame, or looking for the reason this had happened to me, it just had, so now, I had to work hard to become the best new me I could.
I could never have imagined that a year later, I would be back with SES, driving, and performing services as a Celebrant, but there you are, maybe miracles do happen.
Strangely, the one thing that hasn't come back, is my singing voice, so for now, all of my shows are on hold. But if that is the only down side, I consider that to be a good deal, better that than having my singing voice, but nothing else.
There really are no words that adequately thank the numerous Doctors, Nurses, therapists, friends, my family, my orange family, and my extended orange family, you were all amazing, and I know, that I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you, Thank you!
Please learn a little about F.A.S.T. as you never know when you might need it.
F is for face, look for any changes or drooping.
A is for arms, place your arms straight out in front of you, and look for any weakness.
S is for speech, do you sound different, any slurring or loss of coherent speech, and finally,
T is for time. Act FAST!
Stroke needs you to act as quickly as possible. If you have any of these signs, don’t wait, call 000 straight away and explain that you believe you could be having a stroke, it made such a difference to me and it could for you.
I look at where I am now, almost 2 years down the track, and I understand that I have been given a second chance at life. There are still improvements to be made, and I will continue to work hard to be the best me I can be, but I’m still here and getting on with life, and that’s pretty bloody great!