Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient

Departments

Redefining ability

Campbell Message

This week, Austin Health is recognising the wonderful contribution that our staff and patients living with a spinal cord injury make to our community.

Leisure specialist and client liaison, Campbell Message, has lived with a spinal cord injury since he was just two years old.

“I was two years old when I was in a car accident… so I grew up in a wheelchair and I didn’t know life without it.”

Campbell shares that living with a disability has caused others to make preconceptions about him. He urges the Austin Health community to redefine ability and think big picture.

“There are many preconceptions people have of disability. For example, people have come up to me at work asking if I live at Royal Talbot because I’m in a wheelchair – so already there is a stereotype around people with a disability not being able to work,” he says.

“This doesn’t just affect the general community, but it effects people in the community who may have injuries and end up in rehab.”

Campbell says that people living with a disability should expect to live a normal, happy life.

“Living with a disability does not mean you are sick. You can work, have friends, have a family and live a healthy life. I think people living with a spinal cord injury should know that life doesn’t end after disability. There needs to be an expectation of ability and having success in life.”

Spinal cord injury awareness week runs from September 4 to 10 2018.