Chance seriously injured himself on January the 6th 2013 in the simple act of diving into a friends swimming pool!
Rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital with a broken neck and no movement below his chest, Chance had sustained a C4/C5 injury and a bone fragment had torn his artery wall. He had dislocated his neck and tore the ligaments from front to back in the process. The family was informed Chance was a quadriplegic.
The surgeons took a piece of bone from Chance’s hip and inserted a cone around the spinal column, cleaned out the debris, decompressed the spinal cord, bolted on a plate and stuffed in the ground up hip bone. Ironically, Chance is concerned that his compressed vertebrae may have minimised his height… and that causes him great concern.
Chance knows he has a big and gruelling battle ahead which started with 9 days in Intensive Care where he woke up with a breathing tube, fought off pneumonia and crazy hallucinations that had him being abducted by nurses to a waiting helicopter on the roof! And as if that wasn’t scary enough the nurse who gave him his meds appeared to be naked but he thought he should pretend he hadn’t noticed rather than embarrass her.
After being transferred to the acute care spinal ward he endured another bout of pneumonia. Chance has genuine appreciation for the incredible quality of care he received at Royal North Shore Hospital and met some amazing Doctors, Nurses and fellow patients.
Five weeks from his injury he was sent to the Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde where he was advised his expected stay would be 6 months and this would then be followed by an outpatient program for more rehabilitation over the next couple of years.
Chance and his family researched every bit of information they could on the latest treatments and rehabilitation for spinal cord injury. While there is no cure for quadriplegia Chance has what is termed an ‘incomplete’ injury which means he can feel below the level of injury and has a good chance of improving. The more progressive rehabilitation centres appear to be in the US and it is Chance’s goal to go to one of these centres and enrol in a super intensive rehabilitation program which has patients working out 5-6 hours a day compared to a couple of hours a day in Australia.
In addition, much success has been had by SCI patients who have incorporated intensive exercise on functional electronic machines (FES) for up to 2 hours + a day. Chance is committed to getting the absolute best recovery result he can and securing this type of equipment as part of his ongoing rehabilitation will play a major part. His dream to play and care for his daughter Twiggie is what makes it all bearable and of course sustains his indomitable spirit.
Chance’s family are committed in every way to providing the material and emotional support required. However, to maximise his recovery, Chance will require enormous investment in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, general medical expenses, and setting up a residence with the relevant aids and equipment. At the very least the gap between the financial capacity of the family and the cost will be around $300,000 over the next 3 years, and the next 3 years are likely to be crucial to the long term outcome.
Chance has a large network of friends and colleagues. All are shocked at this terrible event. Some have already pledged funds to assist in the rehabilitation. A fundraising event will be held on the 6th October from 2 pm to 6 pm at the Deck Bar, 2/4 Davey St, Frankston, Victoria. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.trybooking.com/DINW.
Donations can be made to the account. THE CHANCE BURNS REHABILITATION FOUNDATION COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA BSB 062-148 ACC 1049 6080