A moment’s distraction behind the wheel of a car almost cost Rocky Bay customer, Luke Stevens, his life.
“It can happen to anyone. I still don’t know how I survived, even the cops thought I was gone,” said Luke, now 22.
In May 2017, Luke was on his way home from work, driving in a familiar area when momentarily distracted. When the car in front of him braked suddenly, Luke didn’t have time to react, hitting the car and rolling back into a ditch.
The crash left Luke with eight broken bones, including his pelvis in four places, his femur, humerus, ulna and radius. In Royal Perth Hospital, Luke was placed into an induced coma due to the extent of his injuries and suffered further complications during his operation. Bone marrow made its way into his blood stream and travelled to his brain and lungs, which caused a stroke and left him with a brain injury.
“It was a frightening time for all of us,” said Luke’s mother Gerry Stevens.
“It was hard to see my son in that state, but I was there for him every day.”
After five weeks, Luke was transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital’s brain injury ward. Released four and a half months later, Luke returned to the family home.
Out of a number of home rehabilitation services to choose from to start his recovery journey, Luke chose Rocky Bay.
He was appointed an occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech pathologist who helped him plan and set his own goals for the next six months, with a big focus on what Luke wanted to achieve.
Rocky Bay Speech Pathologist, Toneille Grant, along with Luke’s therapy team, helped him learn to walk and talk again and regain his cognitive skills. His rehabilitation was covered by the WA Government’s no-fault catastrophic injury cover, as part of WA’s Compulsory Third Party Insurance Scheme, which was introduced in 2016.
“(His) determination and the funding he received allowed us to provide intensive therapy to achieve his goals,” said Toneille.
“In Luke’s case, the funding meant that he could receive therapy at home where he was comfortable.”
Toneille explains that before the introduction of the WA Government’s no-fault catastrophic injury cover, clients would not receive the amount or length of therapy service that Luke has experienced.
“Luke could choose the provider he wanted to go to, which really allows intervention to be tailored to the client”, she said.
“Luke has responded extremely well to therapy intervention, and while he’s now finished working on his speech, he still has a lot of work to do to regain his physical strength.”
Thanks to the intensive therapy provided by his Rocky Bay team, Luke is almost back to his old self 12-months after his accident. He continues as a client of Rocky Bay and his goal now is to return to work as soon as possible.
“I’d like to thank Rocky Bay. They’ve helped me and steered me in the right direction to be able to get where I am”, Luke said.