Home in time for Christmas

A young man sits in a wheelchair with five female nurses standing beside him. The nurses all wear bright surgical scrubs featuring Christmas designs.
Patient Craig Wilson and some of the nursing team from the State Rehabilitation Service spinal ward.
December 14, 2018

After almost four months in hospital, patient Craig Wilson is getting the best Christmas gift he could have wished for – going home!

Craig’s time in the State Rehabilitation Service has been one of education and grasping a new outlook on life following a life-threatening injury.

“It was a freak kitesurfing accident. A giant gust of wind lifted my kite and launched me five metres in the air and eight metres back, throwing me into a sand dune and snapping me in half,” Craig said.

Craig suffered a severed spinal cord, broken sternum and ribs.

As a firefighter, Craig was in great physical shape, which he credits with his recovery. He has been undergoing intense rehabilitation to assist him to become independent and prepare him for life outside the hospital.

“It has been a full on, life-changing program. Going through physio, occupational therapy, wheelchair skills and an informative education program has equipped me to feel confident going home.

“Learning to turn over in the bed and dress myself were the first two tasks I needed to tackle. Now I can do those as well as feed myself, shower and manage my medical aids.

“I have had to learn so much and I can’t say enough about the nursing staff. They deal with the worst things every day with a smile on their faces, they are just incredible.”

Craig will be supported by the Spinal Outreach Service, an initiative launched this year at FSH to assist patients to maintain their functional independence and achieve self-management after the life-changing experience of a spinal injury.

Craig will be celebrating Christmas with his family and newborn grandson.

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