Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Dave's Story


My story started in 2015 and continues. I live in Queensland Australia. On the 27th Dec. 2015, I had 2 strokes 5 hours a part, the 1st a clot the 2nd a bleed on my brain; a life changed in a heartbeat. I lost half of my eye sight as in my peripheral vision, nothing to the right of my nose, I had to learn how to walk again from scratch and although I could talk, apparently nothing made sense to others.

 At 1st I was so determined to walk again and get better. I did that, but with a lot of depression & anxiety that entered my life, so I learnt to deal with that better through help. When I thought the depression was under control & started focusing on a new life, although still living with issues, but learning to move forward. Then my wife of 35 years decided to leave me, she said it was the depression (I hope he looks after her); I did not see that coming & it hit hard.

My life went straight back into depression, deeper than I had ever imagined anyone could go. Mental issues are so debilitating as we know. I was diagnosed with extreme PTSD but thankfully I am past that part of my life, 3 years of that is enough, although it took a lot of focus to get through the frustration of having had enough of it too.

Through hard work and determination I achieved something great, I was a rare person who was able to get their drivers licence back  after it was cancelled due to the strokes…….Wow, so hard but so cool. 

After that miracle I was introduce to like-minded people who liked motorcycle riding; still suffering depression on a daily basis however bike riding gave me an outlet, a place with people, it changed my life, it is the most important lesson I have learnt; We must engage with others it is so important.

Unfortunately on the 24th April 2021 I crashed that bike all by myself. My fault / not my fault, however it resulted in some nasty injuries. I remember the impact as the bike hit a dirt bank and through me over. There is about 3 minutes missing but then I got up and started walking to the road, took off my own helmet, then a friend said what can I do… help me get my jacket off, although I knew my shoulder was in a bad way. How I did this, I don’t know? PureAdrenalin. I organised people with phone password, son’s phone number and said get me a F….g ambulance then passed out. I came to a few times, like when the paramedic said hello young man what can I do for you and I remember saying, whatever you’ve got give it to me!!! 

As it turns out that paramedic was the 1st to save me then he called the rescue helicopter. Once in the air, complications started with punctured lungs and they had to land back into a football stadium and perform surgery on me right there. I had died a few times but their expertise kept me going. Forever grateful.  From there I was placed in a coma for nearly 2 weeks, ICU for another month, then recovery.

As it turned out I broke my back in 3 places, T1, T3 & T5. I broke ribs front & back in 16 places, fractured my shoulder blade top through to the bottom and destroyed my collar bone / clavicle. I now have 11 titanium plates holding me together. During my hospital stay I had many very strange dreams whilst in there that to this day feel like they are a part of my reality, a part of my life, very surreal. 

I found that determination to repair and move forward like I did after the strokes, but not that easy by yourself, in fact it’s impossible. Even though I felt better and determined to prove doctors wrong on their time lines, which I did and got out of hospital in a few months; they said 6 to 12 months, perhaps without the focus and determination it could have been that long. 

One thing is certain, I am here; we are here. We need to move forward from where we were. Not necessarily easy, but simple, it’s just a decision. Easier said than done, I Know.

I still get down & out type days, we all do, everyone does, but I have learnt how to refocus, re-direct that negative energy. I have decided to live, it’s that simple, decide to live, one positive thought after another. Be a part of the TSN, encourage friends to engage, they will learn a great deal.

With love Dave

P.S. Yes I have a new bike…..