Just like any other twenty-two year old: Zach’s story

Zach is a NIISQ participant who lost his right leg and sustained additional injuries to his left arm in a motorbike accident in February 2018.

Following his accident, Zach chose to be rapidly discharged from hospital to home. The support that he received early on was central to helping Zach towards a successful recovery. Zach’s mother took significant amounts of time off from her nursing career to be with Zach following his accident and NIISQ Support Planner, Samantha worked closely with Zach and his very supportive family to ensure his ongoing recovery.

“NIISQ have supported me immensely,” said Zach.

To begin with, NIISQ funded a sitting prosthesis and various other injury related equipment, including a manual wheelchair.

Zach also received funding from NIISQ for necessary home modifications. This included the install of a disability compliant ramp leading to Zach’s backyard, minor modifications to the front stair treads and major bathroom modifications to accommodate his ongoing physical needs.

“The modifications that have been done on my house are amazing. It makes my day to day living so much easier,” said Zach.

Vehicle modifications funded by NIISQ mean Zach can now drive his car to independently maintain social and community connections. Zach enjoys the same activities as any other twenty-two year old, including his recent visit to a food and wine festival in his region. He has also successfully returned to paid employment, where he works to assist with the placement of labour hire candidates for program services.

Zach said, “The modifications are not the only thing NIISQ have done for me. My Support Planner Samantha is amazing. She goes above and beyond her duty to get stuff done for me, she’s an unreal worker. I’m so glad that she was assigned to me.”

Support Planner, Samantha has continued to focus on building strong relationships to help Zach reach his goals, including those with the amputee clinic at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Zach’s private prosthetist.

Recently, NIISQ have supported funding a prosthetic lower limb with the hope of assisting Zach to return to walking, Zach’s primary goal. If Zach can return to walking in some capacity, he can work towards a more active life and general wellbeing.

Zach said, “I honestly can’t imagine not being helped by NIISQ. Without NIISQ, my quality of life would be so low compared to what it is like now.”

Zach recognises that mental fortitude is important following serious personal injury.

“You just have to keep going really, you have to think no matter how bad your experience is there is always someone else out there worse off than you. Life has just thrown a wrench in the cog works for the moment, but things will get better,” said Zach.

Zach’s advice to anyone else in similar circumstances is to focus on building active connections and find activities to enjoy post-injury.

“Just get out and about and be social, don’t let yourself get in your head about things. It will destroy you so you need to keep busy and talk to people about things,” said Zach.

NIISQ will continue to support and encourage Zach to facilitate his ongoing recovery.