Richard Davis became a participant in our scheme after sustaining a serious T4 spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident in November 2014.
He was initially taken to the Port Augusta Hospital and then air-lifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, which was followed by inpatient rehabilitation before he was discharged to his father’s home in March 2015.
Early in Richard’s rehabilitation, we assisted with provision of a customised wheelchair for independent mobility, bathroom modifications and other equipment in his home, and exercise equipment and community physiotherapy services for home-based exercise.
We also facilitated driving lessons and modifications to a vehicle to ensure Richard returned to driving as quickly as possible.
We have watched in awe the progress and achievements Richard has made since his accident.
We arranged a vocational assessment early in 2016, which confirmed a new career direction for Richard. As a result, he has commenced an Associate Degree in Engineering at the University of South Australia and is soon to return to part-time work.
Richard now enjoys a range of sport adventures, including a para-canoe program at West Lakes, weekly tennis matches and weekly sessions with Determined2 which is a company that delivers innovative inclusive recreation services for people with disabilities.
Reflecting on his first controlled scuba experience through the Immersion Therapy service offered by Determined2, Richard said “it was an awesome feeling of freedom, being able to do whatever I wanted in any position.” Richard worked with Determined2 to develop the Immersion Therapy service, which provides an opportunity for people with disabilities to experience weightlessness and allows freedom of movement in a controlled environment of a swimming pool and promotes physical, mental and social benefits.
“The fact that 90% of the time I am sitting, and if not I’m lying down, being under water there is no restriction on what I could do. There is a fun aspect to the experience but for me the best part was the freedom.”
Richard’s post-injury life is full of purpose, rewarding activity and, most importantly, it is self-directed. We will continue to support him in the years to come with his equipment and other needs as he progresses with his recovery.