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.