In 2015 Darren was living life as an active 49-year-old man. He had a family he adored, he loved his job, enjoyed socialising with friends and keeping active through sports and fitness.
In October of that year his life changed forever. Following an illness he was struck down with a life threatening acute thrombotic disorder and placed in intensive care while doctors and medical staff battled to save his life.
While the excellent medical care he received pulled him through, he was faced with having extensive amputations - both legs below the knee, left arm to the elbow and part of his right hand. He had skin grafts to most of his remaining upper and lower limbs with skin taken from his back, stomach and across the base of his spine.
Darren spent 11 months in hospital recovering from his illness. It took a long time for his skin grafts and wounds to heal. He commenced extensive rehabilitation to learn how to cope with his amputations and increase his strength. He had to learn how to do simple tasks in a different way or let someone help him - a big challenge for someone who was so independent and active.
When he returned home, Darren was overjoyed to finally be out of hospital but it was clear the hard work he had put into his recovery in hospital had only just begun. He had to learn how use his electric wheelchair, equipment and aids.
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He had to become accustomed to allowing others to help him with basic tasks and began to look forward to his daily visits from The Disability Trust staff who have assisted him with showering, dressing and meals.
Fast forward to 2019, and it is clear that Darren's strong determination, positive attitude and sense of humour have assisted him to adapt to this new life. His staff from The Disability Trust have "become like family" to him.
Darren knows he will never be the same person as before but he is trying to be the best person he can be now. He continues on a path of challenging himself, improving his strength by regular physiotherapy, swimming, and walking. All this activity has seen Darren drop some weight and while most of us would be cheering if it were us, it has caused issues for Darren as his prosthetic legs now don't fit as well and cause him pain. He asked himself "Is it better to walk wounded or stop walking and lose all I have gained?" In true positive form Darren has chosen to "walk wounded for now".
Darren has more goals he would like to achieve and knows The Disability Trust is there to assist him, saying, "My Trust staff are simply the best - through trying times I can rely on their support. They have helped me achieve things that I wouldn't have thought possible for myself. Their encouragement has helped me push myself to where I am now."
Darren would love to return to the workforce and his next big goal is to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. He has to get his new set of "legs" and his new "arms" but when he has them, he is doing that climb. And if anyone can do it, and wave a flag at the top, it's Darren.