Surround Linden with Love
2 Years Today at 10.30am approx
Over the the following hours, days and weeks, each of you remember where you were, what you were doing and how this news reached you.
I want to apologise for any distress and disruption that the news I caused, to you and your family.
I'm just very thankful and grateful to everyone who God has used and worked thru (even if you have not realised it) to
preserve my life and recovery to date, giving me a second chance, after that serious jet fuel explosion accident that went off around me in a developing country.
It was around 14hrs, actually 1am the next day when I arrived here at RBWH burns unit.
Up till then I was conscious and not intubated.
Last thing I remember at the end of the 14hrs was arriving happy enough at Brisbane International from the Medivac Jet and going into the Ambulance.
That was all I remember until I woke up out of the induced coma in nearly March 2013.
After waking up all busted up, grafted, debrided etc, I was angry thinking, what have these doctors done! I was ok before they messed with me here in BNE (so I thought)
Then after that I thought, they knew how bad I am and what I have in front of me and the pain, why did they save me!?
This is inhuman and cruel!
Then I became aware about the insurance situation.
All I wanted/wondered then was why did everyone save me then?
How long till euthanasia laws are passed in Australia or QLD?
Because I was so useless, I couldn't even end my life, even if everyone stood back and let me.
All I could have done was give verbal consent, I couldn't even give a fingerprint or sign an X.
Truely a unique and interesting position to have been in.
But since those terrible early days much has changed thanks to a Good God who cares about me and Bri, loving family, friends, medical professionals and every other good person that I share this world with :-)
Today I am thankful for every every cent, second and ounce of effort that you all have contributed to what I believe is a successful recovery to date.
I reckon we are about 2/3rds as we enter this 3rd year.
I am expecting at least 6 ops this year, 4 big ones with much intensive rehab again.
The future is uncertain and my ultimate level of recovery is unknown.
So the things I can do something about I DO.
And the things I can't, I'm glad I can leave to a God who cares and knows our future.
While I continue to partner with Him, I believe that He will see me and Bri thru the journey we all experience and call 'life.'
Thankyou for your love, kindness, support and interest in my journey.
I am very humbled by your interest and encouragement.
As I have shared today, whatever inspiration you may experience, I am not responsible or source of.
My solution was to end my life after all the effort of everyone else to save me!
The source of inspiration, positive attitude and desire for life I have a measure of, is I believe, from the source and creator of life.
Wishing you all a wonderful week!
Well we find ourselves well into 2014, with the first Quarter now behind us.
Thank-you for all of the positive comments, prayers and support, from each one of you. I do notice and read them all, but unfortunately I just struggle to find time to respond to each of you individually.
March has been a busy month for Bri and me. It began with a trip to Cooranbong in NSW, where Adventist Aviation's 50yr Anniversary Celebrations were held on March 1-2. It was a full weekend with the program starting on Friday night, all day Saturday and a day out at Cessnock Airport with Achieve Aviation on Sunday.
We had a good time down there all together with the pioneer pilots who started it all in 1964, along with a large gathering of former and present pilots, engineers etc. A very unique time in history as we are able to celebrate the previous 50yrs of God's leading with those that began it all, who are still with us, and as Adventist Aviation continues into the future, in this part of the world (Aust, NZ, PNG, etc) not only in PNG, but throughout the states/territories of Australia and NZ.
I was given the opportunity to share briefly in the Saturday program, with some pictures and to speak about my journey of recovery since my accident in January 2013, after departing Adventist Aviation Services as their Maintenance Manager in Goroka PNG for the previous 9 yrs.
Two books were released on the weekend. One was the 50 year Adventist Aviation PNG picture history book, that Bri has been a part of producing.
Many were sold on the weekend and bought as memorabilia/collectors pieces. They are selling for AUD$48.00 plus postage, with only 300 left last I heard. Available from Adventist Book Centre in Cooranbong NSW or
Distributed directly from Colin Dunn "“ email email@example.com
All proceeds will go to paying for the production of the book and profits will be directed to Adventist Aviation Services continued work and expansion in PNG.
A copy of this book has actually been received by HRH Prince William from his recent visit of NZ and Australia, and will be placed in the Royal Library back in England! If it's good enough for the Royal Library, it should be good enough for most of our libraries â˜º
The second book was "Winchee" "“ Mission Stories of Colin and Melva Winch". Pr Colin Winch and his wife Melva were missionaries and co-founding pilot of Adventist Aviation Services in PNG when it began in 1964. I believe this book is under $20.00. Available from Signs Publishing/Adventist Book Centre.
Later in July, a celebration will be held in Goroka PNG, for Adventist Aviation Services 50yr Papua New Guinea celebrations. I don't reckon Bri or I will make it to that one unfortunately.
I mentioned in February's newsletter that if the opportunity presented, I would give flying a go, which is my next goal to reach and achieve since my accident. On the Sunday of the weekend March 2nd, a program was hosted at
Achieve Aviation, founded and owned by Mr & Mrs Garry Fraser. Garry was the ATO/Chief Flying Instructor/Director of the highly reputable and successful Avondale Flying College when it existed, before being sold to Wollongong University and then being sold by Wollongong to Garry himself. I am very pleased that the heritage and quality of flight training that was offered by Avondale Flying College for 30yrs to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Commercial aviation community continues on with the Fraser's as they operate Achieve Aviation at Cessnock Airport in the Hunter Region of NSW.
As I walked into Achieve Aviation's facility and hanger I suddenly realized that this was the first time that I had walked into an aircraft hanger since I had run out of one on fire, back in January 22nd 2013, in Goroka PNG. I had been to a few airports, but not into a hanger. Surprisingly I was at ease, but couldn't help remember my last experience.
Towards the end of the day, Garry asked if I wanted to try going for a fly.
I gratefully accepted this appropriate opportunity to try flying again for the first time in nearly 2 yrs, with Garry's offer of his time as instructor and the use of a later model Cessna C182S VH-XTX owned by Cannot Be Hidden "“ Thank you Craig! I reminded myself that 2003 was the last time I had flown a C182S, on a test flight, at my previous job with a Cessna Dealer in WA, after assembling one after it had arrived from the USA factory in a shipping container. Dad also came along, observing from the rear seat.
The trickiest bit was getting in and out with my stiff knees and getting a headset on my head, with my stuck elbows! Once all strapped in, all was quite familiar and off we went. Hope Channel film crew captured the event and interviewed us. I said to Garry that I would like to do a few circuits or Touch & Go's, as those exercises involve the repetition of the "exciting" and more technical bits of piloting generally, the Take-off and Approach/Landing.
All went well, I did a couple of circuits on my own without frightening anyone or the need for Garry to feel he had to take over the controls. He was happy.
(Garry did handle the radio communication for me though, so I could focus on the flying) It did feel good to have the opportunity to try actually flying again.
Generally until I TRY a new skill again (in my recovery) I am never really sure what my ability really is. So I am VERY grateful to Garry at Achieve Aviation and CNBH for making this opportunity a reality for me!
You may have noticed a picture on my FB page posted by Warren Scale.
This was a flight I did with Leighton Judd an RA (Recreational Aviation) Instructor in a Tecnam P2002. After I landed the C182S and arrived back from my first flight with Garry, Leighton asked me if I wanted to try flying in an Ultra-light aircraft, the 100hp Rotax 912 powered Tecnam that he had there at the Cessnock airport. I told Leighton that I had never been in or flown in anything that small, but figured why not, I had seen the aircraft flying already that day and Leighton being an experienced instructor, I reasoned that this was another good opportunity.
Again the entry and exit from the aircraft and the donning of a headset were awkward, but once that was all settled, Leighton ran me through the controls, check-lists, and run-up before we headed off. As I hadn't flown a P2002 before we agreed that a local flight would be the go to get familiar with it rather than going into circuits straight up. So with Leighton taking care of the radio communication, he let me take off, fly around, then do the approach and landing! On take-off it felt very light and squirmish to me, but once airborne with being gentle and light on the controls, was quite smooth and stable.
I wondered how I would handle a stable approach and landing, with it being so light, but I set up the speed that Leighton recommended and we came in nicely! So that was another unexpected opportunity to try something new and experience some more aviation which I continue to be passionate about, despite my accident. Thank-you Leighton!
Since meeting another aircraft owner from QLD who was down in NSW for the weekend, I have since been up flying along with him in his twin engine aircraft in Brisbane this month as well. At least I know I still "have it" and the basic ability and experience are still there.
Following the weekend in Cooranbong/Cessnock, on Monday I went down to Sydney for an interview with Kent Kingston at Record's studio for their "InFocus" program. To my knowledge, I have not yet seen it aired.
Next day on Tuesday, it was back up at Cooranbong, 3ABN had scheduled an interview with Mum, Dad and myself, for an hour program, but it went very, very fast! Bri struggles with the publicity part, following my accident. She supports me in whatever opportunities are presented to me, that I choose to accept, but she doesn't like being part of the publicity, if that makes sense, which I understand. Basically, Bri is always there with me, but in the audience or behind the camera/s.
Even for myself, I don't do anything publicly for my own reasons or attention. The invitation needs to met at least 2 of the following 3 criteria:
1- The invitation can show and exhibit God's care, faithfulness and goodness of His character through my recovery experience
2 - That through my experience it may help and inspire others to move forward positively through their own difficulties
3 - It allows me the opportunity to acknowledge, thank, and give credit to everyone who has supported Bri and me through this difficult time.
After spending some time with my Aunty and Cousins in Sydney, following all of these appointments, Bri and I met up with my Mum and Dad to drive us back up to Brisbane via Tamworth where my Mum's parents and siblings live.
Hey all, due to international activity, Paypal is making Bri verify her identity before we are able to continue using this site. We will let you know when it is up and running. Hopefully very soon!