It’s been 12-months since Cameron Dunne was left with crippling injuries following a freak football accident, however the 21-year-old says he now considers himself lucky.
The Dunnstown footballer was rushed to hospital in 2014 after a fourth-quarter mishap against Springbank that left him with a severe spinal injury and the fear of never walking again.
However after a difficult road to recovery, the Ballan local is back on his feet with a totally different outlook on life.
“Everybody takes things for granted. I think I’ve now learnt to appreciate life itself more, and you only live once so I might as well get out and do as much as I can and meet as many people as I can because everybody has their own amazing story,” he said.
“Being around hospitals and the medical life for a year now I’ve met some very unfortunate but amazing people. Especially Mitchell Prendergast who has ongoing brain tumours, just seeing him everyday with a smile on his face and a strong mind even though he hasn’t been dealt a great card really inspires me to keep going, because after all – there is always someone worse out there. So I guess I consider myself lucky”.
A year on from the devastating accident, Cameron still suffers a number of side effects including the loss of feeling below his waist and ongoing pain which limits him to two hours of sleep a night, however says he has since managed to get himself out of the hospital bed and up onto his feet.
“Over the past year I’ve taught myself how to walk again. I still can’t feel my legs, hands or back and they aren’t sure if I will get the feeling back but at least I’m up and walking again,” he said.
“It’s still not perfect and I struggle on uneven surfaces but I am getting there. My physio’s Cameron and Shane look after me and I try to get there [Ballan Medical Centre] as much as I can”.
Cameron’s ability to walk again isn’t the only achievement he has to celebrate; as 2015 marks the year he was appointed joint coach of the Dunnstown’s under-18 side.
“It’s great to still be involved in the footy and just being a supporter,” he said.
“I enjoy sharing some knowledge with the boys and have already seen some great improvement, which is what I’m there for”.
Cameron said he looked forward to getting back into work as soon as possible and hoped to travel in the near future.
“Unfortunately I can’t go back to my old job [as an electrician] but I’m willing and keen to start work somewhere else as soon as I can. I would love to work with kids in need, such as kids with cancer,” he said.
“I would also like to do some travelling, meet many new faces and see as much of the world as I can”.
First appeared in The Moorabool News, May 26 2015