Jacques Jacobie loves his job as a mechanic at Longreach Toyota. As a 27-year-old man living in regional QLD, he works full-time and enjoys hanging out with his mates as much as he can.
But one day after work in mid-2020, Jacques decided to go for a motorbike ride. Although going for an afternoon ride wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, he decided to try something new and take a road he wasn’t used to,
“I was being a classic young bloke on the back of a motorbike and was travelling a little too fast,” Jacques explains.
“Before I knew it, I saw a fence and crashed into it. After that, it is a little bit blurry, but I remember waking up on the side of the road, unable to move and with no medical support on the scene yet. After lying there for a bit, I was trying to come to terms with what had happened and I found my phone to call my dad. From there, I don’t really remember being in hospital or being airlifted to Brisbane.”
After multiple scans and checks, it was discovered that Jacques had permanently injured his T3 & T4 vertebra and suffered T1 nerve damage. This then meant that this active young man, was now facing life as a paraplegic.
Although it was a major life adjustment, one filled with mixed emotions and extensive rehabilitation and recovery, Jacques was adamant to get on with his life,
“It definitely wasn’t smooth sailing during my recovery but there was also no point laying around and moping about it. And my friends and family were really important to my support and recovery, because they kept me positive and motivated,” he continues.
But just as important as his friends and family have been, he can’t help but sing the praises of his LiveBetter Support Worker, Rhonda,
“Rhonda is amazing. She helps get me dressed and get to work quicker as well as gives us a hand with some general things around the house, like cleaning and making shopping lists. She’s great to talk to, she’s good company and it would be hard to find another person like Rhonda… I really don’t know what I would do without her.”
But Jacques is also thankful to the support from his boss and fellow mechanics at Longreach Toyota,
“The whole team was really awesome and kept my job open for me, saying that whatever changes you might need, they could work with me on it. I’m so grateful for the whole team as it saved having to start a new job from scratch while trying to learn to walk again.”
Nicole Pacey, Jacques’ Program Coordinator, regularly comments on his attitude and manners, stating that he is someone that everyone at LiveBetter is extremely proud of,
“Jacques is a lovely young man. He has amazing skills for mechanics and is a real go-getter – he will always give something a try which is full credit to his character.”
But what is Jacques advice for a young bloke who is experiencing something similar to him?
“Keep your hopes up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but at the same time, don’t be afraid to try.”