ATLANTA BREAKING NEWS!

Chance Burns It has been 42 days, 600 sit-ups and 3000 bad jokes in Atlanta but who is counting? Training has gone from 2 hours a day to 4-5 hours a day as they are working on my ankles, hips, hands, neck, shoulders and I truly believe I am getting great gains but somedays it's never enough.

I had both of my legs put in casts yesterday to help realign my ankles and my left wrist. I only have to wear the casts at night. So me and mum are hitting the bars during the day. In my shrinking world I talk about my mum mainly as I am with here 24 hours a day and it is so fascinating breaking down her world of craziness. She will come running in to the bedroom in the morning and start throwing tablets in my mouth then she grabs my face and starts digging tablets back out of my throat saying oops they are tonights tablets. If this was a one off it wouldn't be much of a story but her belief is that close enough is good enough. I still see her jumping in the passenger side of the car with her keys in hand ready to drive away leaving me on the sidewalk.

Chance Burns Rehab

It's hard being away from Twiggie, family and all my friends. I have been blown away again by another bunch of amazing friends who have thrown together a Victorian Fundraiser/Catch up in Frankston on the 6th October, which will have Auction items and plenty of booze rumour has it. Please see what they have thrown together below. I wish I could be there.

This Sunday ABC Compass, 6.30pm, have done a story on myself and Ann who suffered burns in the Ash Wednesday bush fires 30 years ago. The show is on 'Resilience' and how each of us have dealt with adversity. I haven't seen it yet so hopefully I won't be cringing but I hear Ann's story is amazing.

I hope everyone is well and it's not too cold.

Chancelot

July 19th Update

Chance Burns Hey guys, little USA update,They have fixed me and I am heading home!

Landed safe and sound. Started at the Shepherd Centre, Beyond Therapy, on Tuesday and they have had me going like a workhorse. The place and equipment is mind blowing. While I was training yesterday there was a guy playing basketball in a wheel chair who had no legs and forearms since birth and he absolutely owned the basketball court. I will send a video the next time I see him in action as it was awe inspiring. Then there was me in a really cute / slinky leotard, doing stretches on the floor. As they say we have all got our own challenges to overcome.

 

The training is gruelling but exactly what I need. They have really high expectations of me and pushing me to new levels.

Other than that I am sharing a room with mum a.k.a Sneezy. Why I say this as I have never known anyone to sneeze so much and over the past 6 months of spending so much time with family I have only now come to realise that I come from a long line of sneezers. But mum still insists she doesn't have allergies.

Atlanta itself is even greener than Melbourne and we look forward to seeing more of it when mum gets her international licence.

Once again I want to apologise for not getting back to individual messages although I love receiving them but my hands are still pretty limited and mum is my hands at this stage.

I have been Skyping with Twiggie who asks me "Daddy are they making you better so you can take me to the park?". When I said Twiggie Daddy has to go away and I will miss you terribly, she said "It's OK Daddy we can Skype". OMG she has only just turned 3.

I will put some video updates on www.chanceburns.com.au over the next few weeks.

Ten 4 little buddies!

Chancelot

Update 15th June

I want to start by thanking everyone for the support I have had through this journey and for the Fundraising event. We have all been blown away by the support and generosity from everyone. I struggle to find the words to express my gratitude and am humbled by so many people reaching out to me. There are so many people I want to thank and the hardest part is feeling that those words can’t convey just how much I appreciate your kindness. As a result of the fundraiser Mum and I have now booked our flights and head off to Atlanta, USA on 8th July. I have 13 days left of my 6 month confinement at Royal Rehab and yes it has felt like a sentence. No offence to nurses or physio buddies but just as a result of an extended hospital stay. I will update the blog (www.chanceburns.com.au) and Facebook (Chance Burns Fundraiser) regularly with my rehabilitation at Beyond Therapy, Shepherd Centre. But saying all that, Physio is going well. Only problem is I'm actually running out of weights. I've had to resort to bench-pressing the nurses……… if you know what I mean!

Much love,

Chance

Chance and Twiggie paint session

 

Update from Rehab

It’s been 14 weeks since the injury and the journey has been successful but tough thus far. Since being here at Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde my shoulder and hands have continued to cause me great concern. Not to mention those 2 chicken legs that don’t work so well either. It has been an adjustment going from a brand state of the art hospital like the Royal North Shore Hospital to a rundown 100+ year old building. I share a room with 3 people (the honeymoon period was over very quickly when I was moved out of my original single room), who also happen to be quadriplegic and between the wheelchairs and the hoists it is like Spencer street station at peak hour!

The upside of the journey has been the recovery I am making. I feel I have defied the odds of where I thought I would be at this point. When you have this type of injury it seems that people don’t expect you to get much in the way of recovery. I suppose the most famous quadriplegic is Christopher Reeve aka Superman and it’s as if he set the benchmark for quadriplegics. To start with I too had no movement at all in my hands and legs and then slowly small movement started coming back. I had no strength as I couldn’t lift a feather at first but now I can clean my teeth although it is pretty dangerous for anyone within a 5 metre radius.

They weren’t sure I would get any movement back in my right arm as it just hung there for the first two months but now after 3+ months of therapy it is getting some movement back so there is still hope there. I have had movement in my legs and they appear to be getting stronger every day and I have been able to take a number of steps with assistance in a hydrotherapy pool. But to give you the real picture it was like watching Woody from Toy Story learn to work….very sloppy.

ABC Compass came out and filmed over a couple of weeks as they are doing a story on me and another lady who suffered a tragedy in bush fires 30 years ago. Its focus is on how people deal with adversity. They filmed my family, Twiggie and my mates helping me with my underwater pool shuffle and all aspects of my day to day life in recovery.

With 8 weeks until I finish my 6 month long hospital fun times and then I’ll be packing my bags to head to America (Atlanta), where I will start a 3 or maybe 6 month intensive rehab program designed for Ninja’s. This will hopefully get me to the stage that I will walk out and have enough movement in my hands to live an independent life!

The support I have received from my friends and family has been amazing. My sisters and Mother are here around the clock and this makes this tough journey a lot easier. My Mum turns up with a new exercise gadget that she has bought on line each day and we could start our own physio supply shop with the amount of stuff in the cupboard.

A Fundraiser is being put together to help raise funds to support my recovery by 4 amazing people, Leigh and Tania Collier, Quentin Sale and Richard Glynn, these guys have worked tirelessly to pull this together. The generosity and support shown by people in these times leaves me speechless and very grateful. Missing Twiggie has been the hardest part of this journey and not being able to see her everyday breaks my heart, this is what brings me to tears… I have been so lucky that my family have been going down every 3 weeks to Melbourne to pick her up and bring her back. I’m about to see her today! Can’t wait.

Cheers, Chancelot

The Gym

Update Feb 2nd

Hi all, Since I have not been in contact with anyone I thought I should give you an update. Currently day 27 but it does seem like a lifetime, especially the last week and a half which has been pretty hard core rehab. I have had a few wins like my arm movements are a lot better especially my left hand as I can now scratch my face. My index finger on my left hand has started moving and now the right one too. I can lift my knees a touch and I have slight movement in some of my toes. Keep in mind that this is like me going to the gym and lifting the heaviest weight you can but t is exhausting. This does seem odd for me as I can usually lift the heaviest weights at the gym while the girls stand around clapping.

These may not seem big but these are huge and I am ahead of schedule for the level of injury. I would be a lot more concerned if I didn't have feeling through my whole body and this is coming back daily. I got the news on Wednesday while pumping iron in the gym that I would be moving to the rehab hospital the next day which is great to be moving out of acute care and into rehab. The pain is still very intense through my neck and into my shoulders as these muscles are overcompensating for my whole body but have got weaker since the accident. I need to work on building muscle again. I have got little chicken legs and skinny arms but that is not stopping the ladies looking . I am extremely motivated and non-stop with my rehab and they tell me to slow down a little as you can crash so I rest my finger on the pillow for a breather.

When I was delirious and in quite sever pain in ICU at the start of the month, I requested Mum, Tarsh and Celeste to film it and interview me for a documentary on the journey and ABC heard about it and have asked to interview me tomorrow. I might be the new Andrew Denton!

Mum flew to Melb and picked up Twiggie and I had her here for 3 days last week. My Aunt’s Trisha and Odette where kind enough to help mum pack up my stuff and they showed real potential to start their own removalist business.  Twiggie was quite scared at the start with my neck brace, wheel chair and my arms not working like they used to but before long she was looking after Daddy, feeding me, rubbing cream on me and even sleeping with me. This has been the hardest part of the journey not being with Twiggie everyday but having her with me was the best medicine.

I haven't been in contact with people because I am all about looking forward and focusing on getting better and I know everyone is concerned for me and want to support me but these conversations are harder for me to handle so let’s focus on the good stuff ahead. I know you are all there for me and I really appreciate that. I believe that the only way I will get through this is by the art of positive thinking.

The stay at the rehab they say will be about 5 months. I have been lucky enough to get my own room at the rehab hospital but no guarantees I get to keep it. Days are full on as you are in Occupational Therapy and Physios for an hour each and then I do extra work in the gym and I work on Cheddar Pocket when Celeste comes in after work. I will be shaving my hair for a fund raiser for the leukaemia foundation 'The world’s greatest shave' in March, you may have seen the Ad so I thought I would send you guys my link to sponsor me as when you spend this much time in a hospital you really appreciate the staff and how if I can do something to support kids with leukaemia then I will give it a shot. So stay tuned for the link and I will be sure to send you a video of me having my head shaved just to prove I did it. My full focus at the moment is on rehab and this is a full time gig. I have a huge motivator – my little girl Twiggie and this is what is going to get me walking again! I better go now though, time to play strip bingo with my Physio.

Love you all. Chancelot

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Update Jan 14th

Hi all,Hope you are well. I thought I would give you an update by dictating this email to my family.  Think most of you have spoken to my mum by now, and are aware of what took place.  I am currently a quadriplegic.  It’s been a pretty horrific week. I smashed my C4 and C5 vertebra in the accident so they had to operate on my neck – they went through the front of my neck and put in 2 plates in order to hold my neck in place and they took a bone graph from my hip to fuse the bone to make it strong. I had pneumonia – and beat that… with karate.

The first 3 nights were hell.  I was hallucinating from the pain and the drugs which made me think that I was getting abducted by one of the nurses to a helicopter during a massive heist.  Because I couldn’t talk with a breathing tube down my throat and couldn’t move anything bar my neck it was very very scary and painful. Enough of that, on a positive I have made a huge change in a week – I can feel a little in my hands and legs and I can move slightly in my left arm and even slighter in my right. Today, I am sitting in a wheelchair for the first time.  I am strapped in but you have to start somewhere.  And they said that this is a huge step for someone 7 days down the track from such a massive accident.

All future updates will be a bit more upbeat but I thought I would tell you exactly how it is for this update. Today I was told I was allowed to go out to the balcony…. I know what you are thinking – it must be amazing!!  I’ll send you an image of the balcony so you can see for yourself.

My arms and my hands are the main concern with pain at the moment; it's like pins and needles taken to the worst degree.  Your skin feels like it's burning or either freezing and my hands are about to snap off. It's neuropathic pain. It’s taken us a while but the pain killers are a lot more effective now. Supposedly I am getting moved from ICU to a new unit for Acute Care tomorrow, which is up 1 floor here at the Hospital. I haven’t been in contact with anyone because the pain has been full on.  I’m sure you would like to come and say hello but I’m just not up for it yet.

I have a team of very good people looking after me.  Celeste, Natasha and Mum have been outstanding and by my bedside every second and massaging my limbs around the clock.  Celeste stayed with me 1 night and so did Mum after my request that I couldn’t go through 1 more night with the pain not managed.  They don’t normally allow this but they made an exception.  The support I have had from these guys is… mate, I can’t even explain…I don’t have the words for it.

If I start rehabilitation tomorrow – this would be early under the circumstances they told me but likely.  There are also other things we are looking at like stem cells from when Twiggie was born that we can investigating where they inject into the spine blah blah blah.  There are options!

It looks like I'll be based in Sydney for the next 6 months doing rehab. I have photos of Twiggie in my room.  There is 1 photo of her above my bed that I look at all day.  All I have done is look at a roof for 8 days. I actually don’t know if there is a floor in my room.  There are also photos of her on the walls which I get to look at every time they roll me – which is about 80 times a day.  The pain when they roll me is excruciating!!  But looking at Twiggie makes me want to go through it.

The nurses and Doctors here at the Hospital have been great. I think that out of a very bad situation, I’m in a very good place.   I’m in the best of hands. I want to thank you all for sending through your messages of support and love through my family.  It's been good to hear them and the love is mutual.  I might be aiming too high but I think I can beat this.  As you all know I have always been a big dreamer.  So if you could come and pick me up at 7:30 tomorrow morning and we can go for surf that would be great!

I want to give total focus to rehab and my recovery at this time. Feel free to stay in contact via the family and I’ll be in contact when I can.

P.S. The food is terrible but the arse-less gowns are a treat! Be safe and enjoy. "Chance Burns is the smartest, most adorable patient we have ever had!" (signed) Dr Pepper.

Cheerio, Chancealot.

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