Injured local vows to walk again
WHAT do you do after you’ve been bed-ridden for nine months in intensive care, another nine months in a spinal injuries unit and you’re diagnosed as a quadriplegic?
You get out of your wheelchair and walk, of course.
And just in case that’s not enough of a Goliath effort that has the medicos scratching their heads and scurrying for their text books, you work two days a week at the local animal refuge painting shelters and fences.
Meet the Fraser Coast’s miracle man, Peter Edwards.
A year ago the Chronicle called in to Pete and Julie Edwards’ home in Maryborough and heard the riveting story of how the then 42-year-old former cleaner had tripped over a motel bed sheet, cracked his head on a cupboard and wrecked his spinal cord.
And how two years later Peter was managing to walk 20 steps a day – albeit with enormous pain and grit.
Yesterday Peter was at TESS Wildlife sanctuary just out of Maryborough beaming with his usual wide smile and painting one of the shelters.
“Pete works here two days a week and they’re full-on days,” refuge manager Ray Revill said, somewhat in awe of his volunteer of three weeks.
“He’s an amazing man, an absolute character, a valuable worker and he livens up the place no end.
“He’s a great guy and it’s a real pleasure to have him here. Not only the animals love him. We all do.”
Julie says her husband is now managing to “walk up and down our hall”.
“He’s doing pretty well, thanks to his terrific determination and his carers,” she said.
Leigh Clark from the Spinal Injuries Association says four carers spend time with Pete.
“Two years out from the accident we got him walking with assistance. He does walk up and down the hall with the help of his hopper frame.
“We keep him as mobile as possible so he can do a lot of things for himself. He maintains his mobility and independence.
“He really is remarkable.
“He gets himself out of bed around 4am, listens to his UHF to hear truckies talk, makes a cup of tea and waits ’til we get there at 6am.
“He is doing really well.”
Peter loves going to the TESS sanctuary and talks about it incessantly.
His biggest thrill so far was to have the refuge’s eagle sit on his knee.
And meanwhile the miracle man, he still vows: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”