I am 42 years old and I hold a Bachelor of Recreation. I used to work at the Collingwood Football Club and was planning to move to South Australia for a better job. One week before I was to leave for South Australia, I decided to have a few drinks with friends. I woke up seven and a half weeks later in hospital.
I have no recollection of falling from the second-floor balcony at the back of the nightclub I was at. When I came out of the coma I discovered I had severe head injuries and 17 broken bones. The doctors told me I would almost certainly spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair and would never regain the use of my left arm and would only have minimal use of my left leg.
But to the amazement of my doctors and rehab providers, I am now capable of moving my arms and am out of a wheelchair.
I now travel overseas yearly, and I’ve been to New York three times and Las Vegas twice.
I walk 15,000 steps a day and can move all my fingers. At the moment I’m focusing on becoming as fit as I can exercise-wise. Last week I had an ECG to measure my heart rate and had the best news ever. The doctor said the lowest my heart rate got was 38 BPM which means I’m extremely fit. I’ve been on the rower for the last 8 weeks and my goal is to row 1200m in 5 minutes, my personal best is 1109m in 5 minutes. I also want to row 500m in 2 minutes, my personal best is 2mins and 3 seconds so I’m close to that goal. For about 5 years my goal has been to get a six-pack, I still eat lean so that will come, I want to get ultra-fit but at the moment it’s about keeping my fitness and health.
I’ve been volunteering with the Portsea camp now for 11 years and I do 4 camps a year. For the last 5 years, I have been a room leader, which is about looking after the kids. My recreation work hasn’t been that good because of my disability but the last camp I went to I was a recreation officer for 2 days and I loved it. I like to play a game called GAGA ball with the kids. GAGA ball is like poison ball but in a 5x5m sandpit and I am the umpire and I really enjoy it, I tell the kids “I am at AFL level and you kids are a bit below my standard”.
I run a business as a speaker and focus my presentations on Life Choices and my weakness, binge drinking, or alcohol.
I’m currently the president of Brain Injury Matters in Victoria for 2 years now. We are a self-advocacy organisation for people with ABI.
For more information about Brent please contact Speakers Bank’s Program Coordinator on 03 9687 7066 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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