We talk with world-class mouth
painter Dayna Tiwha
Kaleidoscope helps two
Kiwis to get back to work
Brett Ladbrook has an unforgettable
experience in Samoa
The National Magazine of the New Zealand Spinal Trust December 2018 Volume 21 Issue 3 ISSN 1175-4573
HANS WOUTERS - FINDING FUTURES....................... 3
JOSEPH DE THIERRY - A MENTOR ON A
DIFFERENT STROKES - MOUTH-PAINTER
DAYNA TIWHA............................................................................ 8
APLIC18 CONFERENCE WITH
DR. BERNADETTE CASSIDY................................................. 11
LIBRARY - NEW ADDITIONS.................................................. 13
THE WHEELCHAIR CHALLENGE.................................
JOHN MILLER LAW - KNOW YOUR RIGHTS............ 17
KALEIDOSCOPE FEATURE - AMY GLASSFORD
REDEFINES RESILIENCE........................................................... 18
NZ SPINAL TRUST WELCOME BACKPACKS............. 20
THE BAIL BULLETIN..................................................................... 21
“GRIPPER’S RACE DAY”............................................................ 22
CONNECTING PEOPLE - BRETT LADBROOK
SAMOAN SOJOURN................................................................ 24
FAREWELL TO DR. LINCOLN JANSZ............................. 27
KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK - IAN
MCDONALD TALKS ABOUT HIS CAREER.................. 28
FUNDERS AND SPONSORS................................................. 30
SPINAL NETWORK NEWS is published by the NZ
Send your contributions to:
The Editor SPINAL NETWORK NEWS
c/- New Zealand Spinal Trust, Private Bag 4708,
Tel: (03) 383 7540 Fax: (03) 383 7500
DESIGN & LAYOUT: Melanie Evans
COPY PROOFING: Thanks to Jackie Grimshaw and
Jharna das Gupta for their help with this issue.
The views expressed in SPINAL NETWORK NEWS
are those of its contributors. They do not necessarily
represent the opinion of the members of the Editorial
Committee or the policies of the New Zealand Spinal
Dr. Bernadette Cassidy
Patrons of the
Sir Tim Wallis
(left) and Trevor
Hi my name is Peter Thornton, I am so proud
to be the editor of this great magazine. I believe
it is a publication that has the power to change
lives, but it is only as strong as the community
who support it. I encourage anyone who is living
with SCI to get in touch and share their story.
We’d love to hear from you. A special welcome
to Jackie Grimshaw and Jharna das Gupta who
has helped proof-read this December issue and
has done a superb job.
Hi, my name is Bernadette Cassidy; I am
delighted to be part of the Spinal Network
News Editorial Team.
I have been with the New Zealand Spinal Trust
as Information and Design Services Manager for
16 years - there have been lots of changes over
the years particularly the role of information.
Having access to quality and timely information
empowers people ‘to reshape their lives’.
Thanks to Dayna Tiwha, Ian
McDonald, Joseph De Thierry,
Amy Glassford, Bernadette
Cassidy, The BAIL Team, Hans
Wouters and Brett Ladbrook for
the images used in this issue.
Cover Photo: Dayna Tiwha is a professional mouth-painter. He encourages all
people with an SCI to get into the craft.
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO...
I am like a kid in a candy store. I cannot contain myself. Touch rugby
season has arrived and it is without doubt my favourite time of the
year. I am driving home and I can feel the warmth of the sun on my
skin. The grass is green and I am itching to get out there and play. I
quickly change from my work clothes into my touch rugby singlet and
shorts and walk up the road to the local park.
The next two hours are the highlight of my week. It is time away from
all of the stress, my iPhone which is a constant source of calls and
problems, time without the kids and time where I can be totally free
and have fun. It is back to how life used to be.
I sit down on the edge of Windsor Park, a ground where I have spent
more than half of my life playing rugby, and know that I am lucky to still
be here. I have suffered my fair share of injuries and hardship through
sport - it has been 21 years since I broke my neck as a 17-year-old
playing rugby. I still reflect on how lucky I was that day, it could have all
been so different. But I am happy to be back here, in so many ways
this field is my home. There is no place I’d rather be. Our team’s battle
away and notch up two untidy wins – the saying “the older I get the
better I was” comes to mind – but I have to have some perspective.
I walk to the side-line at the end of the game and I take a moment to
look around. There is a laughter and happiness in every direction…
sport has a unique ability to bring people together. We have a few
pints after the game to talk about our wins and more importantly
to reminisce about how good we used to be, before we go back to
Sport. Beer. Laughter. It is good for the soul and I need it each week.
So what is my point, I hear you saying? Good question. I ponder the
same thing as I put on my jandals and begin my short wander home.
The point is I need something to look forward to each week to be
at my best. We all do. We all need something to get excited about.
From October to March, I have it in touch rugby. I love everything
about those summer nights. While my wife Katie might get tired of me
talking about or planning our life around my one night of the week, I
don’t care, I love it.
But I know that I don’t do enough of this stuff. For roughly 20 nights
of the year I am in my happy place, but what about the rest? How
intentional am I with my life?
How much stuff do you have in your life that gets you excited? What is
getting in the way?
For me personally, I am pretty good at having that one event in the
distance that I look forward to and work towards – like the summer
holidays at the Bach at the end of the year – but that often feels out
of reach and is not enough. I need regular things that are different and
exciting – going to see my favourite band play live, getting out for an
early morning run along the beach, reading a fictional book, mowing
the lawns, playing golf with mates – all escapism to make the grind of
American author Rita Mae Brown summed it up best when she
wrote “Happiness is pretty simple: someone to love, something to do,
something to look forward to”. The ‘something to look forward to’
part is probably the biggest challenge for our generation when time is
at an absolute premium.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my wife and two beautiful daughters
more than you can imagine, but time away from the little monsters
is also special. It makes me a better Dad. Yes Mum needs that even
more – the day-to-day routine of looking after two kids under three is
relentless – and that is another column in itself.
Back to the touch rugby… my mates and I fix most of the world’s
problems after a couple of pints. I tell them I am looking forward to
the day when I don’t limp over the finish line to complete the year. I
tell them the first week of my holiday is mostly napping and catching
up on sleep. It is met with a chorus of “Me Too’s”. Everyone is busy.
Everyone is under the pump. Everyone is giving their all for their
families. We are in our mid to late 30s. We have young kids and dream
of days gone by.
It is important to have things to look forward to – but even though
that is my point – maybe the solution is actually in the antonym. Part
of the solution is enjoying each moment of every day. Easier said than
done in the stress and pressures of modern day life I know, but it is
“Stop. Slow down. Life will never be the same
again so soak up where you are right now with the
people around you.”
Too often in life we get caught up looking at what is coming on the
horizon and we don’t celebrate what we have achieved or actually stop
to soak up how good life is around us. My three-year-old daughter
giggling when ‘Daddy Monster’ is chasing her, a high-five from my Old
Man on the golf course after I smash a drive down the middle, a hug
and a kiss from my beautiful wife when I get home, a room filled with
laughter and banter with mates who are as close as family.
Stop. Slow down. Life will never be the same again so soak up where
you are right now with the people around you.
I am home now. I’ve had my run around at touch rugby. I’ve had a
couple of pints and I have walked home weary but happy. I am already
counting down to next week. I pause before I open the front door.
It is important to have something to look forward to, but it is just as
important to make sure the golden moments of everyday life do not
pass me by.
THE CEO’S COLUMN
The chopper carrying Nick Wallis’ casket and the ashes of Matt
Wallis spiraled up and up with its companion helicopter just behind
until they were small specks directly above us, then they flew into
the Southern Alps. The thought of losing two sons within three
months, both leaving wives and children behind is horrendous and
inconceivable. For our beloved Patron Sir Tim Wallis and Prue
Lady Wallis this will no doubt be the most challenging time of their
lives and goodness knows they have had plenty of challenges. Our
Trust board and Staff are feeling strongly for the Wallis family at
this time as I am sure many of you are.
Grief is a powerful emotion which will visit us all during our lives.
An example is when someone has a spinal cord injury, the sense
of loss can be devastating and can rouse different responses in
us all. The good advice found in this poem by Eli Jenkins is worth
Do not hurry - As you walk with grief;
It does not help the journey.
Do not hurry - As you walk with grief.
What do you do if you are at odds
with your ACC case manager?
If you are having issues (recent or longstanding) I encourage you
to reach out to ACC beyond your case manager. There are
three ways you can do this, phone, email and online feedback.
The ‘Feedback’ function sits over every page on the ACC website
www.acc.co.nz and if you select “I would like to be contacted re my
feedback” they will do so within 24-48 hours.
Some of my CAP colleagues are saying ACC is responding through
these methods very well and they are getting results. If you go
through this ACC process and still have an unreasonable outcome
please get in touch with me directly. I will see what I can do for
0800 650 222 firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the middle of this year I have been doing a lot of work with
ACC in their Customer Advisory Program (CAP). The NZ Spinal
Trust is one of 10 organisations representing ACC’s serious injury
customers. As a consequence I have been conversing with many
of you and am not surprised by the polar opposite experiences
many of you have had. Here are just two quotes. “ACC have
been super great in my case. I cannot imagine any of it happening
any differently.” And another: “We were not informed at all. We
learned from others at the spinal unit and the nurses and other
patient’s wives who were already battling the system how to get
answers from an uncooperative unfriendly system. Getting hold
of a constant contact person was impossible. Messages were left
The Serious Injury Team that I am working with is well aware of
the problems and they genuinely want to do better and deliver
more consistent results. In June I had the encouraging pleasure
to hear ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering speak where
he addressed the elephant in the room – ACC’s inconsistent
performance. His address was heartfelt and compelling which
concluded with a strong encouragement for us to tell ACC
where they are going wrong. In fact he asked us to make him
feel uncomfortable. It is safe to say we are obliging Scott and his
serious injury team.
Much of ACC’s issues originate with their case managers whose
manner and performance is at times very poor. In saying that there
are of course many outstanding case managers with whom some
of you are completely satisfied with. There is no doubt building
a strong open relationship with your case manager is the key to
addressing your needs well. What do you do if you are at odds
with your ACC case manager or finding they are not listening?
As we close out 2018 I want to express my sincere thanks to my
staff and board for their hard work and support. I also want to
thank our wonderful supporters who make this all possible. It has
been another big year and I am thrilled with the many advances we
have made to better support people living with the effects of SCI.
2019 sees us celebrate our 25th year and celebrate we will.
With preparations for Christmas and the holidays almost
concluded I wish you and yours all the very best for the Christmas
JOSEPH DE THIERRY
In July 2015, Joseph de Thierry’s life changed forever. He fell from a 6m high fence and landed on his back and neck. He twisted his
spinal cord and fractured his spine at C3/C4. It was the worst time of his life and he went to some pretty dark places. Now two years
on, de Thierry has trained hard to begin walking with crutches and also to return to work. Joseph (46), who has lived in Auckland since
his debilitating injury, has turned his attention to helping others with an SCI (and other personal trauma) to see how they can still live an
independent and fulfilling life.
How have NZST and Kaleidoscope helped you on your journey?
I deal with Lesley [Jones]. She is awesome. Anytime I am feeling
down, I talk to her and she is there to pick me up and help me
understand if there is anything I am doing wrong. She has been
a great motivator and has been a mother for me in many ways. I
can’t speak highly enough of the Kaleidoscope programme. The
team gave me the motivation to get back into work. I honestly
would not be where I am at right now without their support. Their
support systems were so valuable for me. For the last four/five
weeks I have been on crutches and I have been trying to get out of
my wheelchair as much as I can. It is a new thing for me. I have
the strength and balance to walk with crutches now; it is another
positive thing that has happened. I kept stretching and training and
made some really good progress. It is amazing what you can do
with encouragement and if you keep going.
How did you get back into work?
Through the company that looks after me – Royal District Nursing
Service New Zealand (RDNSNZ). They are carers and are
supplied. They look after me. They asked me if I wanted to do
some work. I had been talking to patients and clients about life
after injury and I sat back and thought why not? It has been good
fun. It is flexible. It is casual right now and not full time; they call
me when they need me, when they have special needs people who
suffer a spinal cord injury. I can hopefully help them through the
process or give them some ideas on how I adjusted to a normal
life, or getting back to some sort of normality.
What advice do you offer people in this frame of mind?
I bring up different ways of dealing with things. At the beginning
you can go to dark places and that is normal. Even I went to some
pretty dark places and that was hard to get through. I encourage
people in those times to speak out. To really speak your mind.
Obviously everyone is there to help you, but they can only help
you when they know what is going on. It is about utilising the
resources that you have. Talk to your family and friends.
Are you acting as a mentor? Do you enjoy it?
Yeah it is very much. Yes, I am enjoying it. I am lucky enough to
know all about my injury and what that journey is like. My advice
is from first-hand experience so, hopefully, that helps steer them
through the dark times. One of my friends lost his eye a few
weeks ago. He rang me up and we talked for a few hours. He was
in a very dark place and all he wanted to do was kill himself. He
had been assaulted and he lost his eye. He was in a dark place with
the way his life was panning out. It took him a little while to get
through it. He wanted to know the process in terms of how ACC
will support him and work and all that practical sort of stuff. So
he needed some help and I also helped him with dealing with life
after his injury. Especially after something like losing an eye – it is
a massive personal trauma – and I said to him “Mate I understand
you are feeling the worst you have ever felt in your life, but life
goes on.” He has kids and a wife and they all need him. I said
to him you can have a better life no matter what you have gone
through. He knows a bit about what I have been through with my
injury, so he took it all on board. This is a guy I have known my
whole life. I said to him on the phone that life goes on and you
will have a lot of moments you can enjoy along the way. Every day
and every week you just have to get on with life, be there for your
kids and your family. I feel the role comes pretty naturally to me. I
know how they feel and I can be compassionate to what they are
How many hours/what is the process like?
Sometimes 2-3 hours/week. It can be more. Lucky the company
looking after me was looking for someone. Even talking to some
of the older people, sometimes I just sit there and listen to them
and make them feel comfortable. There is a lot of loneliness out
there, especially with the elderly, and it is important to be there for
people. There are never enough people to help. I am lucky to be
mature enough to listen and also yarn with them.
“It showed once again just how strong the
mind is - the body may want to give up but
the mind will keep going.”
Are you pleased to be back working? Does it give you a personal
sense of pride?
Absolutely. I am still training at the gym doing Cross-Fit and
bringing in guys to come and try it. One of the guys just had
surgery on his shoulder and my coach brought him and he loved
it. As hard as it was, it was really awesome for him to be in there.
He had shoulder surgery a year ago and he was a bit worried,
but I said you have just got to try stuff and see how you go. He
was blown away by how much he enjoyed it and it motivated him
hugely to be working out with the lads. It showed once again just
how strong the mind is - the body may want to give up but the
mind will keep going.
Do you recommend others who have had an SCI to get back into
work and overcome any fear or trepidation?
Totally mate. It is massive for your personal pride to be
working again. Even myself I want to feed off other people and
their determination. As much as I feel strong myself, I need
encouragement. I want to be better and stronger. I see other
Kaleidoscope, a programme of the
New Zealand Spinal Trust is a notfor-profit
organisation,. It’s guiding
• Everyone can have a great job
• It’s healthy to be working
• The sooner the better
• There are thousands of work
• Personal networks are the key
• The process for getting a job is
the same as before your injury
• You can do it yourself –
Whatever it takes!
• Your life experiences give you
For more on the Kaleidoscope
people in wheelchairs and what they are capable of and think I
think I want to be that guy, I want to be as strong as him. It is all
encouraging and you can’t help but feed off other people’s energy.
Whether that is someone training or someone like me sitting
down and listening with someone and just hearing their problems.
We all need that. It is such a big thing that has happened in our life
and you need support to get through the hard times.
Do you have a long-term goal for this work?
Yes. Totally. I would love to get back into part-time and then fulltime
work as soon as I can. To me I am always working towards
my next goal. I worked in my last job for 21 years [management
and supervision] and it was all about the enjoyment. I want to
keep building in this role and keep enjoying what I am doing. I
used to mentor people from being just an average worker to get
them to whatever level they want to be at. I had a team of 14
staff, sometimes 30, and was in charge of running the show.
You have a really positive outlook on life. Where does that come
Well, when you get a second chance at life you want to take it by
the horns and make the most of it. Be grateful for what I have. I
have great people around me and I enjoy those moments. Life
could have been so much worse, but it wasn’t. The goal is always to
get back and enjoy life.
On the tip of his t
Dayna is paid a salary to paint full-time as an artist for
the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of
the World (AMFPA).
By Mike Brown
He makes it look easy is a saying I could never imagine being
connected with mouth painting, but as professional mouth painter
Dayna Tiwha explains, it’s not difficult to begin learning.
“If you want to take up mouth painting or painting in general, you
don’t need many supplies,” he said. “I started on acrylics first, and
borrowed some mouth sticks from a few friends. I then put the
brush into the mouth stick, and placed the stick in my mouth.”
“I used to write with my right hand, so I hold the
mouth stick in the right side of my mouth to get
that equilibrium with myself. This helps my brain
to know I work with the right side.”
Dayna, a quietly spoken tetraplegic who lives in South Auckland,
sits in his power-chair with the concentration of a hawk, as he
masterfully applies his brush to the canvas in front of him.
“I used to write with my right hand, so I hold the mouth stick in
the right side of my mouth to get that equilibrium with myself.
This helps my brain to know I work with the right side.”
Taking a breather as I asked more questions, Dayna admitted the
first of his 50 paintings were “pretty ugly”. I have to laugh when
I think about how someone would have described any attempt I
“I used to hold the brush too tightly at the start and I found my
jaw would be in a lot of pain. I soon learnt it doesn’t have to be
held that hard.”
Reflecting on where he is now, Dayna smiled and admitted “it’s
great to see the progress”.
He shared his love of storytelling through art and beamed with
pride when I asked him about the portrait he painted of his niece
and her baby.
“That one took quite a long time to get the skin tones right. It’s
all about learning how to mix the colours and how to get the
different tones by adding in white to the warmer and brighter
tones, and the darker colours blend in with the whites.”
I can only imagine the frustrations one must overcome to do this,
and Mr Miyagi berating the Karate Kid springs to mind – focus is
required Daniel-San, in order to mouth paint.
Dayna is not often alone when he is painting. He needs his carer
next to him most of the time to help with accessing the paint and
setting up his mixing tray, but that is where the assistance stops. It
is clear, as I look at the art on the walls that years of practice are
certainly paying off.
Dayna is paid a salary to paint full-time as an artist for the
Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World
(AMFPA), which has given him the opportunity to paint in public
places, such as the Easter Show, schools, and shopping malls and
sometimes to Australia to paint at the Easter Show over there.
Dayna has the final word before I leave him to work on his latest
masterpiece, “I really encourage everyone to give mouth painting,
or painting in general, a go. It has been so therapeutic for me.
It has really helped me to use my imagination, and I have done
paintings I never thought I would be able to do.”
Great work, Dayna, much respect.
We are proud to have Dayna’s cityscape of Auckland on the front
cover of this Spinal Network News.
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NZ’s Premier Disability Show.
Register at any show for your chance to
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Dr Bernadette Cassidy says after attending and presenting at
APLIC 18, she has learnt new ways to collaborate for her diverse
ASIA-PACIFIC LIBRARY AND INFORMATION
CONFERENCE (APLIC) 2018 GOLD COAST CONVENTION CENTRE
Dr. Bernadette Cassidy on presenting at the Asia-Pacific Library and Information
Conference, Gold Coast.
How did it come about that you presented at the Asia-
Pacific Library and Information Conference?
There was a call for papers, I submitted a paper to be peer
reviewed which was accepted. I then had to source funding
so that I could attend!
What did you present on and how was it received?
I presented on how the closure of the Allan Bean
Centre Library following the Christchurch earthquakes
has impacted on patients and families / whanau. This
necessitated a certain amount of daring to reinvent
the Library service through a number of initiatives. My
presentation was well received and I even made it onto
A powerful image of a library being of service to a user, at
the Allan Bean Centre (NZ Spinal Trust), before the building
was demolished after the Christchurch earthquakes. They
may have lost the building but rose to the challenge with
new initiatives. #aplic18 @bernicass
@bernicass the Allan Bean Centre Library is like Switzerland,
a neutral space. Not a hospital ward. A place of learning,
escape and empowerment for patients with spinal cord
@bernicass what are the options when your library has
been unexpectedly destroyed (say, in an earthquake).
Rebuild? Relocate? Reinvent? #APLIC18
APLIC 2018 is the first joint conference between three
library associations; the Australian Library and Information
Association (ALIA), Library Association of New Zealand
Aotearoa (LIANZA), and the Library Association of
Singapore (LAS). APLIC 2018 was an opportunity to join
delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and
around the world to connect over common interests,
explore future trends and learn from the experiences of
libraries engaged in a diverse range of cultural contexts. The
conference had three themes Roar, Leap and Dare.
Roar – how do we advocate for our communities? How do
we promote and demonstrate the value of what we do?
Leap – how do we leap forward and build momentum?
Dare – what risks are we taking in our organisations and
work lives? What are the stories of revolution or evolution,
success or failure, in your library?
Explain what the conference was like, how many attended,
for how long, key material covered...?
Nearly 600 delegates attended for the five days which
included pre-conference workshops. We were welcomed
by the Yugambeh people who told their story through
their beautiful aboriginal music and dance. It was a fabulous
conference, great venue, good food and I had lots of
conversations with dedicated, passionate and interesting
What were some of the key learnings from the Conference?
Primarily the conference was focused on public and
academic libraries, whereas I work in the special library
sector. However, the issues of changes to copyright, being
relevant to our communities and the importance of
information literacy are the same problems that all libraries
How will you apply those learnings to the context back here
in New Zealand?
As a result of attending and presenting at APLIC 18, I learnt
of new ways of how I can collaborate and advocate for my
diverse library community. I felt that I wasn’t alone and in the
words of Lucy Bloom you sometimes have to take risks!
What do you enjoy about running the library at Burwood?
I have been running the Allan Bean Centre Library for 16
years and have seen many changes in that time. When I
first set up the library; patients and families would regularly
visit to use the computers for email, study and work etc.
now patients arrive in the spinal unit with their own smart
phones and tablets! The ABC Library was demolished in
2015 and I have had to adapt to a new situation whilst still
providing a library service for patients, their whanau and
staff. This has involved thinking outside the box, as well as
I love my job because it is more than just about books
on shelves. It is about the human interaction, finding the
information, carrying out research, and anticipating and
responding to the needs of clients.
For the uninitiated, what sort of resources are available at
the Allan Bean Centre Library?
The Library has a comprehensive collection of disability
and rehabilitation resources including spinal cord injury,
brain injury as well as other topics. We also have our own
range of publications and multimedia which you can access
through our Shop page: https://nzspinaltrust.org.nz/shop/
Available are laptops, free internet, printer, books, including
magazines/journals, DVDs, talking books, etc.
Support programmes include computer training, literacy
support and research. Some assistive technology is also
For free membership to the ABC Library and to receive a
monthly new book list please complete this form: https://
Gator Gloves Gel-Palm Gloves Ultra-Grip Four Seasons
All the latest summer accessories
and more at:
CHECK OUT THESE GREAT BOOKS!
These items, and much more, are available to borrow for free! Not a member? It’s free to join; just phone the library on:
03 383 9484 (Ext. 99484) or email us at: email@example.com
THE SPINAL CORD INJURY PAIN BOOK BY PHILIP SIDDALL, REBECCA MCCABE, ROBIN
MURRAY, KATHRYN NICHOLSON PERRY AND LYNDALL KATTE, 2018.
One in five people experience chronic pain but for those with spinal cord injury, ongoing pain affects
as many as two out of three people and many regard dealing with pain as one of the most difficult
consequences of their injury. The Spinal Cord Injury Pain Book is unique in providing the latest information
on how pain works as well as addressing the specific pain challenges for people with spinal cord injury. Its
practical ‘toolbox’ offers the best possible answers to pain ranging from medication and new technology
through to skills such as exercise, distraction, relaxation and meditation.
THE PAIN BOOK: FINDING HOPE WHEN IT HURTS BY PHILIP SIDDALL, REBECCA MCCABE AND DR
ROBIN MURRAY, 2014.
The Pain Book helps people face pain by using plain language to explain the source and types of pain, how the body
and mind respond and the kinds of treatments available. It also helps people find hope by giving practical steps
to reduce pain and address the physical, psychological and spiritual impact of pain – complete with illustrations,
techniques and exercises.
THE RESILIENT FARMER: WEATHERING THE CHALLENGES OF LIFE AND THE LAND BY
DOUG AVERY, 2017.
The South Island farmer suffered terribly during eight years of drought. His farm was depleted and so was he.
Although he didn’t realise it at the time, Doug had severe depression. His story, he says, is common to many in
farming who soldier on in isolation, slipping further and further into debt and desperation.
The Resilient Farmer is Doug’s powerful story of getting life back on track - for him, his family and livelihood. It’s also
an incredible tale of Kiwi can-do and how one man overcame heart breaking adversity to live a fruitful life and help
THE IREST PROGRAM FOR HEALING PTSD: A PROVEN EFFECTIVE APPROACH TO USING YOGA NIDRA
MEDITATION & DEEP RELAXATION TECHNIQUES TO OVERCOME TRAUMA BY RICHARD C. MILLER, 2015.
The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, developed by clinical psychologist and yogic scholar Richard C. Miller offers
an innovative and proven-effective ten-step yoga program for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The
deep relaxation meditations in this book will help people to overcome the common symptoms of PTSD, such as
anxiety, insomnia, and depression, and maintain emotional stability so that they can return to living a full, meaningful
JOURNALS / MAGAZINES
Dynamics of Human Health (journalofhealth.co.nz) Vol. 5 no. 3 September 2018
Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitatioin Vol. 24 no. 1 Winter 2018
Forward Magazine Issue 147 October 2018
Nadia: NZ lifestyle magazine Issue 13 Oct/Nov 2018
New Mobility for active wheelchair users Issue 300 September 2018
Sports n’ Spokes Magazine for wheelchair sports Vol. 44 no. 5 September 2018
All the above items are available from the Allan Bean Centre Temporary Library, Room 7, Portacom A, Burwood
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 1:00pm - 4:30pm
Membership is free. Contact Bernadette Cassidy for information, firstname.lastname@example.org
99484 / 03 383 9484
CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS 2018
The Library will be closed from Friday 21 December - Wednesday 3 January 2019.
Wishing all our members a very happy Christmas and New Year!
• MODIFIED CARS
• HAND CONTROLS
• FAMILY OUTINGS
0800 864 2529
The Ministers in a Wheelchair for a day was
met with huge media interest and a divided
response from the SCI community.
WHEELCHAIR FUN RAISES FUNDS FOR
SPINAL INJURY By Eddy Bramley
Weekend shoppers had a fun chance to experience the challenges of
life in a wheelchair on Saturday 8 September.
The New Zealand Spinal Trust and The Palms Shopping Centre
partnered to open The Wheelchair Challenge – a fun obstacle course
that gave shoppers an insight in to the everyday difficulties of being in
The challenge was the main event of the New Zealand Spinal Trust’s
second annual appeal which began on World Spinal Cord Injury Day
on 5 September.
New Zealand Spinal Trust information and design service manager
Bernadette Cassidy said the goal was to increase awareness and help
people understand the challenges that people living with spinal cord
“The idea is to take it kind of mainstream in somewhere like a
shopping mall where people can do something fun but at the same
time realise that doing things in a wheelchair is not so easy and kind of
put them in the shoes of someone in a wheelchair,” said Bernadette.
The theme of the appeal was ‘Relieve The Pressure’ which signifies the
immense physical and mental pressure individuals and their families can
face when affected by a spinal cord injury.
Three New Zealanders are affected by a spinal cord injury every week
and the aim of the New Zealand Spinal Trust is to provide physical,
mental and social support.
One of the trust’s key support programmes is vocational rehabilitation
which helps people who have recently sustained spinal cord injury get
back to work. Before the programme was in place only 12.5 percent
of people went back to work after suffering an injury – that figure has
now grown to 65 percent.
Another popular event during the appeal week was ‘Celebrities in
Wheelchairs’ where health ministers Iain Lees-Galloway and Carmel
Sepuloni, Canterbury District Health Board chief executive officer
David Meates all attended meetings in a wheelchair.
New Zealand Spinal Trust community and marketing manager Mike
Brown, who has a spinal cord injury himself, said such important
members of society experiencing a day in a wheelchair could only be
positive for the development of support for people living with spinal
“It’s a great step in the right direction to
making people understand and to think
about the design of buildings to improve the
lifestyles of people in wheelchairs.”
“The feedback we got was that they wouldn’t have normally
understood the struggles of using a wheelchair everyday and so I think
it’s a great step in the right direction to making people understand
and to think about the design of buildings to improve the lifestyles of
people in wheelchairs,” said Mike.
“They are great decision-makers in our country and it was awesome
to have them experience a day in a chair and it was quite a profound
experience for them.”
New Zealand Spinal Trust appeal week was a great success and also
included a Wheelchair Challenge at the University of Canterbury.
“Now I can drive more safely
using both hands, thanks to
my Satellite Accelerator”
Total Ability provides the latest, high
quality automotive driving aids to the
New Zealand market
• Satellite Accelerator – a two handed driving
solution for those with hand function
• Increased safety and reduced shoulder fatigue
• Controls can be easily re-installed when
• Technology developed in Italy and proven for
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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
with John Miller Law
WHAT DOES THE ACC ACT SAY ABOUT
REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES RELATING TO
INJURY AND THE PROCESS TO FOLLOW? E.G. CAN
PRESCRIPTIONS AND OTHER SMALL LIVING AIDS
SUCH AS PUSH GLOVES AND MODIFIED CLOTHING BE
As long as you have cover for the injury for which the
prescription medicine or living aids are intended to treat, ACC
should come to the party. As set out in schedule 1 of the Act,
ACC will pay for treatment that is necessary, appropriate and
of the type usually provided. ACC won’t pay for treatments or
services that are (a) not related to the covered injury, (b) for a
pre-existing or underlying medical condition or injury that’s not
a result of the covered injury, (c) given outside of New Zealand,
or (d) given to you by a provider who isn’t registered or licensed.
A request for living aids might not be met with much enthusiasm
from ACC, but it is certainly worth getting your treatment
provider to request these items.
WHAT DOES ACC COVER FOR CHILDCARE SUPPORT?
ACC can fund the childcare for an injured claimant. However,
when and how many hours of childcare that ACC will fund is
determined on a case-by-case basis. To ascertain this, ACC look at
factors such as:
• the number of children that will require child care;
• the extent to which other household members can
reasonably be expected to provide child care;
• Avoidance of substantial disruption to the employment or
other activities of the household family members.
DO ACC CLIENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHERE
THEY GO FOR THEIR INJURY RELATED HEALTHCARE
APPOINTMENTS? CAN THEY ASK TO HAVE TRAVEL
AND COSTS COVERED FOR APPOINTMENTS AWAY
FROM THEIR HOME OR DO THEY HAVE TO SEE THE
SPECIALISTS IN THEIR AREA?
When ACC requires an assessment to determine cover or
entitlements, they will arrange it with a suitable provider. It is
possible to request a choice from a list of suitable assessors.
Where possible (assuming the choice does not involve
significant delay), ACC will usually accommodate a claimant’s
choice. Assessors will need to have a contract with ACC. An
unreasonable failure to attend appointments organised by ACC
can result in suspension of entitlements for non-compliance.
There is more of a choice when it comes to treatment
related appointments, e.g. with a GP (General Practitioner),
physiotherapist or counsellor. ACC can assist (up to a regulated
amount) with transport costs for appointments to the nearest
suitable provider. If there is no suitable provider in your area
and you have to travel a long way for treatment or rehabilitation
ACC may be able to assist with travel costs, such as flights and
accommodation. It is best to discuss transport and choice of
provider with your Case Manager in the first instance.
WHY ISN’T HELP FOR GARDENING AND HOME
MAINTENANCE, WHICH AN ACC CLIENT WOULD
HAVE PREVIOUSLY DONE, COVERED?
The provision of external maintenance as home help, such as
lawn mowing and hedge trimming in respect to the home of the
claimant, is not a “domestic activity” as defined by the ACC Act.
ACC therefore do not cover this. Several District Court decisions
have confirmed this.
ACC HAVE SUPPLIED ME WITH A LIST OF VEHICLES
THEY WILL FUND. HOW DO I GO ABOUT GETTING A
VEHICLE OUTSIDE THEIR LIST?
This question is tricky without knowing more information. But,
generally speaking, ACC will not fund a specific vehicle unless
there is evidence from an appropriately qualified transport
assessor which supports that the claimant has an injury-related
need for that type of vehicle.
WHAT DOES THE ACT SAY ABOUT ACC FUNDING
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE OF ADAPTED
EQUIPMENT, FOR EXAMPLE VEHICLE ADAPTIONS?
Clause 22(2)(b) of Schedule 1 of the Act states that ACC is not
required to contribute to the costs of maintenance or repair of
any vehicle or modification to a vehicle. This includes registration,
licensing fees, insurance, or other running costs.
Note that ACC does have some discretion though. It is always
worth asking to see if ACC will help contribute to the costs of
any repairs or maintenance, especially if it is necessary to maintain
Amy says that SCI was harder on her family than her because
she didn’t know any different.
Graduating was a surreal
experience for Amy.
If you look up resilience in the Oxford Dictionary, it says: “The capacity to
recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. It goes on further to outline
that a person who is resilient “shows the process of adapting well in the
face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”. It
doesn’t have an example, but a photo of Amy Glassford’s face would not
be out of place.
The down-to-earth Kiwi, who sustained a spinal cord impairment (SCI)
at a very young age, has lived a life of overcoming adversity, trauma and
tragedy. She has never given up.
Amy can’t remember the day she sustained an SCI. The 35-year-old grew
up on a farm in Central Otago and she was three years old when her
family went to the neighbours for a visit.
Their house was on the side of a hill when it was time to leave, Amy was
in the passenger seat. She lost her balance and fell out of the truck while
her Dad was backing out. He didn’t notice that she had gone and he ran
over his daughter.
“I don’t remember much from that time other than being in a plane flown
between hospitals and being really annoyed because I was strapped down
on a bed and couldn’t see out the window,” said Amy of the fateful day.
“The other thing I remember is seeing a moon-hopper that kids bounce
around on in a cupboard. I didn’t feel sadness or any other emotion other
than matter-of-factly thinking I don’t play with that anymore.”
Amy had fractured her T4-5 vertebrae. Life would never be the same
again, but as a three-year-old she knew no different.
“If anything it was my parents who had the hardest time because they had
insight about what my life would be like from then on. Kids adapt quickly
so by all accounts I just accepted it and moved on.”
Amy’s Mum was a nurse so she got home from the spinal unit ahead of
time. “That’s not to say life was easy. Everyone had poor-wee-me days.
Like I say I got lucky with my family.”
“I was incredibly lucky with the family and community I got when I had my
accident because I was never treated any differently from my brothers
or the other kids I grew up with,” said Amy, who is the youngest of four
siblings with two older brothers and an older sister.
“I also never saw my disability as a reason why I couldn’t do something.
I have memories of taking my motorbike to school camps and driving it
through rivers. I think about how I grew up and am amazed that when my
brothers went to boarding school the thought never entered my mind
that I wouldn’t follow them. I understand now the planning that would
have gone into making that happen but never considered it wouldn’t
happen at the time.”
Fast forward the clock to 2010 and Amy still had that same resolve. After
being made redundant from her data entry job at Fulton Hogan, she met
Melissa Kelly, NZ Manager of the New Zealand Spinal Trust Kaleidoscope
Amy always had ambition, dreams and plenty of drive. Mel helped
channel that. She spent time with her establishing a career pathway and
supporting Amy in making decisions about her future. Mel also educated
her on the world of work.
“I had been talking about becoming a social worker for about the last 10
years and after the September earthquake I thought it was now or never,”
Mel and Amy established a foundation that would enable her to make
decisions moving forward as she expressed that she wanted a career,
rather than a job.
“Amy wanted to research a number of different industries, however from
the outset showed an interest in Social Work and I do recall when we
were researching the pathway, she was noticeably passionate,” said Mel.
Amy had always thought being a social worker would be a good way
to use the experiences she had throughout her life to help others. In
2011, she started studying to be a Social Worker at the University of
Canterbury and was “incredibly nervous”.
But those nerves quickly faded. Soon after her study had commenced
Christchurch was rocked by the earthquakes of February 2011 which
changed the course of the city’s history.
“The first earthquake in September was terrifying as we lost power
pretty much straight away so I couldn’t see anything. I was also living alone
at that point.”
The earthquakes also made studying at university a much bigger challenge.
The students started the year with online lectures and tutorials. Amy
remembers that made the learning process in her first year of uni that
much harder as they couldn’t meet with lecturers to ask questions.
“We had lectures in tents as a lot of the buildings were unsafe to occupy. It
also meant that I had to be escorted from the time I entered campus until
the time I left for safety reasons,” she said. “I didn’t know anyone else on
the course at this point to talk to or ask for help.”
Amy found a way to get through and at the end of her time at the
University of Canterbury, the feeling of graduating in 2014 was hard to
“Graduating was definitely a surreal experience because it was hard to
believe that study had finished and I had achieved my goal,” she said.
“Don’t let your disability hold you back.”
Mel was tremendously proud of Amy graduating – more so given the
challenges she had overcome and that she had been part of her journey
from the outset.
“Amy is a woman who has always had a positive attitude and smile on her
face,” said Mel. “There is a saying that attitude equals altitude and Amy
is living this. It is a very rewarding part of our team’s work to see people
achieve their goals and even after doing this work for 12 years, it never
lessens. Watching Amy work through her hurdles over the years, without
losing sight of her goal to become a Social Worker has impressed me, but
more so I am thrilled for her.”
Amy got her first role with the CCS Disability Action as a Service
Coordinator in the family and youth team supporting parents who have a
child with a disability.
“This role was a challenge because even though I had a spinal cord injury
from a young age I had never really been immersed in the disabled world,”
said Amy. “During this role I learnt a lot about being in the disabled world
from other disabled people.”
In 2018 Amy started a new job as a Social Worker at Christchurch Public
Hospital, supporting multiple groups.
“One of the reasons I really enjoy this role is because of the people
that I work with and the courage of the patients. I love the challenge of
supporting a diverse group of people as I am always learning and even if
two patients are from the same culture they can be completely different.”
Amy said the Kaleidoscope team has been hugely influential for her on
“Mel has been incredibly helpful,” she said. “She was like an aunt and
uncle of mine who believed that I could achieve my goal of studying and
becoming a social worker when I wasn’t convinced.”
Mel said by taking on new challenges, and investing in her learning, Amy
has continued to grow professionally and personally.
“Amy has grown in confidence, self-management and her ability to identify
where she wants to go and map it out and achieve that.”
Amy is now living her dream job. She has sound advice for others who
have sustained an SCI and are nervous about getting back into the
“Don’t let your disability hold you back. I know that might sound odd in
terms of physical barriers but from my experience is that there is often a
solution or a go around you just have to take the time to find it,” she said.
“I didn’t see my disability as a barrier to doing anything. I recently did a
sky dive for charity. I jumped out of a plane on 24 November for cancer.
When I was younger I would do things like this including rafting down a
river. I usually waited and told everyone after I done it because I guessed
it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Unfortunately in this case
I am raising money so I had to tell everyone what I was doing so they
After what she has overcome, jumping out of a plane will seem
straightforward. It says plenty about her resilience and nature that she is
pushing herself out of her comfort zone again to help people.
Melissa Kelly, NZ Manager, Kaleidoscope
Amy had an ultimate goal to become a Social Worker, how important is
to have an end goal to work towards?
That is very dependent on the individual, some people are incredibly goal
orientated and this sets them up powerfully to achieve. Others might
have flexible end goals and as they learn more about themselves, their
pathway and steps become more apparent. At Kaleidoscope we celebrate
the steps on the way to the identified goals, which is important and builds
confidence, reinforces the possibilities and increases motivation; one way
to normalise SCI can be work.
How did you help Amy secure employment?
Together we worked through the world of work and set a solid
foundation of knowledge to empower her to own the process of securing
a job. What that involved was education on how to job search, identifying
and expanding her networks, interview and application support and
targeting the right roles and organisations that matched her values, skills
and training. We met weekly to track progress, discuss opportunities and
ensure that Amy had the tools she needed to be successful in gaining
employment that would be sustainable and meet her long term objectives
in this case; which were reasonably specific. I was also a professional
referee in Amy’s application to the Social Workers Registration Board.
What advice do you offer to others looking to get back into employment?
Essentially feel the fear and do it anyway, as the end result is such a reward.
Rewards such as expanding your social networks, utilising and developing
new skills, decreased pain, improved health and wellness, financial benefit
or even being a role model in your family. Further to this, treat your job
search like a part-time job and set goals and daily tasks.
1. Life skills are work skills, too - Employers rate these ‘soft’ skills
(initiative, adaptability, and organisation) very highly. Ask family and
friends what they think you’ve got to offer an employer if you aren’t
2. Don’t go it alone – You might find the whole process much easier if
you seek support from Kaleidoscope, friends and family.
3. Get your CV up to scratch.
4. Make a fresh start - If you weren’t happy with what you were doing
before, treat this as a fresh start and opportunity. Think long and
hard and carry out plenty of research before making a commitment
to a new career path. Ask yourself (and family) what job can I do?
5. Get back into the work habit - Get used to having to be somewhere
and working with other people again. Voluntary work, whether it’s
helping out at a school, charity or church, will get you back in the
habit of being at a certain place at a certain time.
6. Get networking - You may think you don’t know anyone useful but
put the word out to family, friends, ex-colleagues and acquaintances
– you could be surprised by the doors that open.
7. Believe in yourself!!
NEW ZEALAND SPINAL TRUST
Patient Graham Kingswell
receives his backpack from
Peer and Family Support
Manager Debra Edmonds.
The latest initiative from the New Zealand Spinal was
launched in September this year.
This has been a work in progress for twelve months with
the initial idea coming from the Library team. Funding
was secured late 2017 from the Harcourts Foundation
to design and purchase the backpacks.
The complimentary Welcome Backpacks were
distributed to patients in the Burwood Spinal Unit.
The packs contain a drink bottle, useful info and a few
goodies to help make easier the rehabilitation journey for
new patients and their families. Every new patient that
goes through the unit will receive one. The back packs
will become available in the Auckland Spinal Unit before
the end of the year.
› Off-road handbike
› Oversize tires for various terrains
› 20 cm ground clearance
› 250 W motor, with up to 60 km range
› Shimano gear system
› Disc brakes for front wheel and rear
› Weight from approx. 18 kg (without motor)
› Max. user weight 140 kg
› Danish design and manufacture
› Speed up to 26 km/h
Ultimate outdoor actions, regardless of weather
www.euromedical.co.nz | 0800 33 88 77
THE BAIL BULLETIN
HAPPY END OF YEAR GREETINGS FROM ALL OF THE BAIL TEAM!
As the end of the year draws close, the BAIL team can reflect on a
busy and productive 2018.
In September 2018, the BAIL team of Dr Jo Nunnerley, Dr Johnny
Bourke and Anne Sinnott attended the ISCoS annual conference
in Sydney and presented a workshop, an oral presentation and
six posters between them. Johnny Bourke collaborated with John
Chernesky from the Rick Hansen Institute, Heather Gainforth
from the University of British Columbia, and John Shepherd from
the University of Toronto to present a workshop titled ‘Better
Together: Consumer engagement in SCI research’ which was a
fantastic opportunity to promote BAIL’s philosophy of including
people with spinal cord injury in all stages of the research process.
In September we were visited by John Chernesky who lives
with C7 tetraplegia and is the consumer lead at the Rick Hansen
Institute in Canada. The Rick Hansen Institute focuses on improving
care and research for people living with spinal cord injury. John
has been working with the BAIL team to develop better ways to
include people with spinal cord injury (and other impairments) to
be easily included in the research process. While in Christchurch,
John gave a number of talks and presentations which were well
attended by people living with spinal cord injury, researchers
and clinicians. John shared various tools for conducting rigorous
research that incorporates consumer engagement into all steps
of the process. Information like this helps BAIL to ensure people
with the lived experience of disability are at the centre of all our
research and projects.
The BAIL team have also presented the results of our research at
a number of conferences in New Zealand and Australia this year.
This has led to opportunities to connect with people researching
spinal cord injury from all around the world. This helps to advance
research more quickly and develop more ways of enabling people
spinal cord injury and their families live productive healthy lives.
BAIL has also continued to provide tertiary education throughout
2018 by teaching an independent living course at Ara (Independent
Living ASIL700) and a paper (147.317 Disability in Society) at
Massey University. Having the chance to teach students about the
importance of equal opportunities for people living with disability
and conducting consumer focused research is a privilege for the
Resources and videos of the presentations and workshops
conducted by BAIL throughout 2018 are posted on our website
so please check-in and also make sure to keep up-to-date on
BAIL’s activities www.burwood.org.nz Also, please contact our
operations manager Kathy Duncan if you wish to be added to our
newsletter subscription Kathy.Duncan@burwood.org.nz
The year ahead is also shaping up to be another busy year for
everyone at BAIL and we wish everybody a safe and happy holiday
“Gripper’s Race Day”
By Hans Wouters
rides Two Thirty
In April 2015 we introduced you to a new NZ
Spinal Trust Patron Trevor Harrison. The first time
I met him he said: “Call me Gripper, everyone
calls me that,” and sure enough I have never heard
anyone use “Gripper’s” real name.
“Gripper”, a former jockey, is another awesome
example of someone whose spinal cord injury was
more a speed bump in their path rather than a wall
to stop them. His rehabilitation has been a long and
tough one since his C3-4 incomplete injury in 2002,
however his dogged determination and hard work
has seen him bounce back into a rich and rewarding
For the last nine years he has organised a Charity
Race Day for us at Pukekohe Park which we
affectionately call “Gripper’s Race Day”. In total
this event has raised just over $95,000 for our
work. This is a tremendous result and testimony to
the many friendships he has in his beloved racing
industry. “Gripper” will do anything to raise funds
for us and his latest crazy idea has been to have one
of NZ’s leading jockeys Cameron Lammas have his
beard shaved off in front of the main stand by one
of the Counties Axemen - with his Axe!
His idea to have Jockeys race 100m on
Moonhoppers has been a fabulous addition
to recent events and the jockeys really enjoy
themselves. Many of the jockeys that Gripper has
along are internationally famous and household
names in the racing fraternity. One standout
character on the day who creates plenty of energy
and entertainment for the public and guests is the
MC and Auctioneer Andre Neill. Andre adds a
whole other dimension of fun to the day. This year’s
Free Wheelin’ Frenzy Trophy pitting the Wheel
Blacks against some Kiwi legends was won for a
second time by Maia Amai of the Wheel Blacks.
We are very grateful to the many individuals
and sponsors that “Gripper” wrangles together
to raise funds for us, including Pukekohe Park,
Healthvision, SsangYong, Collett Racing Stables,
Splice Construction and The Wheel Blacks.
“Gripper” takes special interest in any new spinal
injuries coming from the racing industry and he
is often seen around the Auckland Spinal Rehab
Unit supporting and encouraging people. We are
extremely grateful to our hard working Patron
“Gripper” Harrison and the crew he assembles
around him for this wonderful annual event.
having his beard
Free Wheelin Frenzy Field
By Brett Ladbrook,
NZST Family & Peer Network Coordinator
In August this year I was given the opportunity to head over to
Samoa with the Altus Resource Trust. The role was as a Volunteer
Wheelchair Technician and I had the chance to teach some of the
locals basic maintenance.
The Altus Resource Trust works with organisations in the Pacific
Islands who provide services for children and adults with disabilities.
This year on the trip to Samoa the team included physiotherapists,
occupational therapists, a wound-care nurse specialist, a bladder
and bowel nurse specialist, seating specialist, wheelchair technician
and builders. It was all documented on video for the Altus Trust
(at the time of writing; we don’t know when the video will be
made available). All this involved seeing people with spinal cord
impairment (SCI’s), training field workers and health professionals.
I had heard what the Altus Resource Trust had been doing and
seeing it first hand, I was blown away by the impact they have had
on people with SCI’s in Samoa. The health of people with SCI’s
used to be poor with limited resources and a lack of knowledge in
how to care for themselves.
Complications from skin issues or pressure injuries, bladder issues,
infections and blocked catheters were some of the main problems
affecting the health and well-being of people with SCI.
Lack of access to Fales, toilets and showers were some of the
things that hit me when I visited a few of the families in the
community. Imagine not having a suitable ramp for you to be able
to get out of the house or in this case the Fale, not being able to
take a shower or use a toilet because it was not accessible to you.
I saw what the Altus Trust had done first-hand with building some
well put together ramps and accessible shower units. I was told it
would be full on. And from Monday to Thursday it was. I also knew
it would be hot and everyday it hit around 30 degrees Celsius.
Our clinic was held at Fletcher Construction’s base in Apia. The
initial client check-up and wheelchair maintenance was done under
a large carport, which worked out great as it was sheltered, open
and we had a breeze coming through. The medical check-ups
were done in an air-conditioned modified container office.
It was really rewarding to be able to use the skills I had learnt over
the years in the wheelchair industry and also the new skills I have
as a Peer Support worker with the NZ Spinal Trust.
One of the things I was asked to do was go over with the locals
how to repair their chairs so that when we left they had some
skills of their own to carry out basic maintenance. Showing the
locals how and what to look for, techniques on repairing and how
to adapt or use what you have on hand to set up a chair. These
people have it tough, but the willingness to learn and to adapt is
amazing. They are very resourceful people.
Being a techie my focus was on what people were using for
mobility and some of the chairs were grim to say the least. The
biggest issue I saw was the lack of parts and the challenges in being
able to get out to get the chairs repaired.
We were robbing unused chairs for parts and using a lot of good
second-hand parts as well as a lot of parts I had bought from local
importers or manufacturers. I know over here in New Zealand
some of the parts would have been thrown out when the chairs
are serviced, but they can be used or disassembled for spares. I
had to think outside the box for a lot of set-ups or repairs with
having limited fittings, limited parts and limited tools. It was a
challenge but extremely rewarding!
On the second day I worked on a wheelchair which was similar
to mine. It is a basic chair, not a lot of parts in it, but I spent over
two hours on it. The chair came in with a broken front castor that
was rather unsuccessfully glued together. The front castor mount
bearings were seized and when I went to knock them out they
disintegrated. After lots of penetrating lube, a punch and hammer,
I eventually got out the bearing shells. The front forks on the chair
had been pulled apart and reassembled incorrectly at some stage.
These had been wearing out the frame housings. This added to the
issues of getting the bearings out as it damaged the housings. The
studs that held them on were pretty rusted and worn as well. It
was off to the parts shed, which was a wee distance from the clinic
area over rough chunky stones, to rob some parts off a donor
chair. I put the front end together, removed the cushion to find the
Brett Ladbrook was blown
away by the impact the
Altus Trust are having on
people with SCIs in Samoa.
Brett Ladbrook said it was really rewarding
to be able to use the skills he had learnt over
the years in the wheelchair industry and
also the new skills he has acquired as a Peer
Support worker with the NZ Spinal Trust.
seat sling-bars were broken. I went back to the parts shed again
and the donor chair came in handy with new sling-bars.
This chair had the same amount of work done on it last year. Not
the person’s fault, but due to circumstances repairs were hard to
get sorted. We absolutely maximised everything we could out of
the wheelchairs and parts we had taken over.
During the week, part of the team headed over to Savaii, the
other large island in Samoa for a clinic. They had a successful time
meeting people and helping them out with the medical check-ups
and wheelchairs repairs.
The same was done the next day when I got to go with a team
over to the South East of the island and visit some people in
some of the small villages. The trip went through some beautiful
countryside. The coastal communities were devastated by an
earthquake that created a tsunami in 2009, with significant damage
and loss of life. Nine years on and the only evidence I saw was
a huge landslip that went out into the sea. On the road back to
Apia, in the dark, we came across wandering pigs, dogs, horses and
The last couple of days I was there were spent trying to relax at a
resort. Struggling with doing nothing, I chucked my freewheel on
and went for a 6km push down the road from the resort. It was
great fun. I always got a friendly “Hi” and sometimes the odd look
and question from the kids and locals. I guess seeing someone out
and about in a chair along the main road isn’t a common scene in
People do get out but nowhere near as much as what happens
here in New Zealand. Life after an injury here, is relatively normal
with access to transport, footpaths and shops. So from a personal
perspective we are so lucky with what we have at our disposal
here in NZ with our own Insurance scheme and assistance from
ACC and the Ministry of Health.
There were a number of people who made my trip
to Samoa possible. I would like to give a shout out to
the following businesses and people:
• Marleen Wholesale for a huge amount of discounted and free
tyres tubes and related items
• Melrose Kiwi Concept Chairs for support with parts and
frames so I could sort out a few chairs before I left
• To all those that supplied chairs and supplies over the year
that were sent over in the containers
• Also the people that helped sponsor me to get over there
and purchase some much needed parts through a Givealittle
page. Without that help I would have found it extremely
difficult. I cannot express enough how much I appreciated
support in this
If you would like to help please visit the Altus Resource Trust web
page where you can make a donation, become a sponsor, donate
equipment and if you are in Auckland, donate time to help pack
equipment from the warehouse to the shipping agents.
Also if you have any disability equipment that you are not using feel
free to contact Altus or myself and I can forward on the details.
For more information: https://www.altusresourcetrust.nz/
To contact Brett Ladbrook email: email@example.com
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Farewell to Dr. Lincoln James Leonard Jansz
26 April 1964 – 15 September 2018.
The Burwood Spinal Unit staff, family and friends said a sad goodbye
to beloved physician and colleague, Lincoln Jansz on 22 September
2018, at the John Rhind Chapel in Christchurch.
In August 2017, Lincoln, a lifelong non-smoker was diagnosed with
advanced stage 4 lung cancer. The news was devastating to his
family, friends and colleagues.
However, Lincoln was determined to fight the illness and he fought
for as much extra time as he could to spend with his family.
Lincoln was well-known and respected at the Burwood Spinal
Unit. He spent several years and many long hours studying for the
Fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
(FAFRM). He achieved this difficult goal in 2017 which was in no
small part a consequence of his dogged determination to achieve
what he had set out to do.
He was a humble man, who always put his patients first and he
cared very deeply about them.
Lincoln was well-loved and respected by everyone at Burwood.
He will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues in the Burwood
Spinal Unit and the Burwood community.
Rest in peace, Lincoln.
Your Life. Your Choices.
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2018 was a big year for Ian McDonald as he was awarded a
Winston Churchill Fellowship to research baseball communication
in the United States. Here he is at Chase Field, home of the
Life in a wheelchair and overcoming his
disability in the workplace.
Ian McDonald is a firm believer that you make your own luck in life. The 54-year-old from Auckland (born
and bred in Wellington) has a congenital condition called Arthrogryposis, which affects the function in his
left leg and right arm, but has never made his disability a reason why he cannot achieve. For the past five
years he has worked for Baseball NZ (the past two years paid and three years before that as a volunteer)
as their Communications Advisor. We caught up with Ian and asked him about life in a wheelchair and
overcoming his disability in the workplace.
Tell me what a typical day is like at Baseball NZ.
As I work from home, unless I’ve got a meeting to go to, I get up, shower, breakfast then usually get on with
work in my home office, clearing emails, writing media releases, preparing funding applications, keeping
website and social media up to date with new stories, happenings etc. Depending on workload, usually
have baseball game playing in the background on TV (through Major League Baseball TV - MLB.TV), or if
I’ve cleared my workload, sit down and watch a game (doesn’t happen as often as I’d like to), then as the
day goes on get evening meal prepared (my wife works full-time in the city) and after dinner, wind down
with some tele and off to bed only to do it all again the next day. As my job entails some weekend work
(what sports don’t?), I usually try and stay away from phone or laptop over the weekend as much as I can
otherwise you can end up working seven-days a week.
What have been some of your highlights from working for Baseball NZ?
The biggest highlights I’ve had so far with Baseball NZ are meeting a host of current and former Major
League Baseball players, coaches and administrators and keeping those personal relationships with them.
In 2016 I was Media Manager for the New Zealand Diamondblacks at the World Baseball Classic Qualifier
Q & A
New Zealand’s first Personal
Trainer in a wheelchair
in Sydney, which you could say was a dream come true working
in a role such as that. 2018 was a huge year as in late 2017 I was
awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to research baseball
communication in the United States and I worked as an intern
at Major League Baseball in New York and with the Arizona
Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
You use a wheelchair, can you tell us your story?
I haven’t lost complete use of my legs, I can walk very short
distances around the house and out to my car, but use the
wheelchair for anything longer than a few metres. I have a
congenital condition called Arthrogryposis, which affects my left
leg and right arm. In December 2010 I had a full hip replacement
in my right (good) leg and suffered femoral nerve damage during
the operation, thus making my normally strong and only good
leg paralysed. It took me a full six months just to be able to stand
up on my own and another year before I could walk a few steps
without hanging on to a rail. In the years since, I have regained
some strength in the leg, but can only walk short distances and
now use a power wheelchair to get around. Eighteen months after
the operation, the Halberg Trust medically retired me as I was
unable to physically do the job I was employed to do (Disability
Sport Co-ordinator), despite having positions available in their
office that I could easily have done. In October 2012 I became
a volunteer with Baseball New Zealand and after three years
became a paid contractor to the organisation and am currently a
Communications Advisor in the organisation. ACC have provided
me with a car and a hoist for the wheelchair, giving me back my
How do you overcome the challenge of being in a wheelchair in
I try to look past challenges and see them as opportunities as now
I use the wheelchair, I can get around a lot easier and quicker than
I used to before my hip operation. Prior to the operation, I was
limited in how far I could walk without a rest (up to about 100m
or so) and since I’ve had a vehicle and chair hoist supplied to me by
ACC, I am totally independent and can go pretty much anywhere
I want to. Some fields can be a bit more of challenge to get to and
around, but I just get on with it and try and look at the positives
(hey, I’m outside watching and working on baseball, how can that
be seen as a challenge?).
How important is it to have an inclusive working environment
and a supportive boss?
The Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn is unbelievably good
when it comes to supporting not only me, but the rest of the
staff. Not a lot of bosses would have given a disabled person an
opportunity to travel with an international sports team as their
Media Manager and to also give me the opportunity to travel to
the US this year. He has helped with connections to people within
baseball in the US to make my trip possible. I hold him and his
enthusiasm for the game of baseball in the highest regard.
How important is a can do attitude to achieving what you want
to in your career?
I try and be positive 100 percent of the time, some people say I’ve
had a rough deal, first with a disability, then with losing the use of
my strong leg, but I see this as just another opportunity to make a
positive out of a negative and just get on with it. Even as a child, my
parents treated me the same as my brother and sisters and not as
a disabled child and being brought up in that fashion has just made
me all the more determined to just get on with life and make the
most out of the opportunities that come your way.
What advice would you offer to others who are wheelchair users
and looking to get back into work?
Don’t sit back and feel sorry for yourself, prospective employees
will pick that up very quickly, it’s important to try and stay positive
and optimistic, that way others will see you trying to make the
most out of life and not sitting back and waiting for things to
happen. Make your own luck.
What advice would you offer to employers who have staff who
are wheelchair bound?
Give them a chance and try and look at the positive things a
prospective employee can bring to your organisation and look past
any possible barriers.
Thank you to our
FUNDERS & SPONSORS
THE NEW ZEALAND SPINAL TRUST APPRECIATES THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE FOLLOWING FUNDERS OF THE ORGANISATION.
WITHOUT THEIR KIND SUPPORT, THE TRUST WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER THE VARIETY OF SERVICES TO ASSIST CLIENTS TO LIVE
INDEPENDENT LIVES RIGHT NOW.
NZ COMMUNITY TRUST
NZ PUB CHARITY
THE LION FOUNDATION
LOTTERY GRANTS BOARD
THE SOUTHERN TRUST
COUNTIES RACING CLUB
DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD
SIR JOHN LOGAN
ARE YOU A MEMBER?
It’s easy to join the New Zealand Spinal Trust and it only costs $30 a year. Your membership fee helps with the printing of the
Spinal Network News magazine and supports the work we do assisting people with spinal cord impairment find their future.
Go to our website home page and click the green Membership Button www.nzst.org.nz
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25/06/2018 5:06:27 PM