12 December 2019
When 20-year-old Jacob O’Brien went dirt motorbike riding with a mate in August, he didn’t anticipate his life would drastically change in an instant.
“I was at a motorbike track and took a jump too quickly and landed on my bum bone,” he said.
“I knew straight away I couldn’t feel my legs.”
Jacob was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital and underwent two surgeries, before he was transferred to Royal Talbot.
“I actually thought I’d be going to a 21st the week after but dad said it was going to be a long road, buddy,” Jacob said.
“It was after the surgery and coming to rehab when realisation set in.
“It was initially challenging to come to terms with what had happened.”
After he healed from the surgeries, his rehab moved along quickly. He completes hydrotherapy four days a week, as well as weights and physio.
He’s also learnt how to live independently.
“It’s finding a new normal,” Jacob said.
Jacob has progressed so well, he is leaving Royal Talbot on the 20 December, just in time for Christmas.
“I’m a little bit excited and nervous – I won’t have all of the support from the nurses anymore,” he said.
“But it’ll be great to be home and in my own environment – I’m very lucky to get home before Christmas.”
Jacob will return to his family home out of Ballarat and said his parents “couldn’t wait” for him to come home.
They’ve modified the house in preparation for his arrival which has included a larger room with an ensuite and ramps.
Before his accident, Jacob fabricated gates and panels for a welding company and is looking to the future for other opportunities.
“I think I’d like to find a career pathway I want to enjoy,” he said.