If you ever pop into the PD Law office on a Friday, you will notice that the dress code has become very casual. This is being adopted for an extremely good cause – “Casual4aCause” Fridays is raising funds from the PD Law team (and any visitors who may also wish to contribute) for charity. The team all pop their spare cash into the jar each week and have agreed to choose a worthy cause every 3-6 months.
PD Law have always donated to local and national causes including the annual Whitsunday Reef Festival, RSPCA Cupcake Day, TourDeCure, DonateWeek and the Endeavour Fondation to name a few. The team felt that the cause should be a local one and should be a group decision. “We also decided that we would choose several throughout the year, as there are so many that should ultimately benefit” said Mel Cox, CEO “we had a few on the shortlist so we thought, the more we can do the better”.
The Chosen First “Casual4aCause”
The first cause the team decided to donate their funds to is to the local man “New Wheelchair for Tom” GOFundMe Campaign. Details of that cause are detailed below:-
Tom Sharpen was born in Mackay on December 24th 1990. Tom and his younger brother Sam grew up like so many in this area, with the love of motorbikes, camping and playing in the great outdoors. Life was simple and happy. On 28th of April 2012, the day his family was preparing for his Mothers 50th Birthday party, Tom went out for a quick ride on his motorbike. Living in Brandy creek now there were a few tracks he’d rode often usually with his mates but that day he was on his own.
As he was racing through the fields having the time of his life something unexpected happened. Tom doesn’t have any memory of the actual accident and knew nothing about it until 5 days later when he woke from his coma at Brisbane hospital.
This is what those who found him and doctors have pieced together; Tom lost control of his bike hitting a tree then a rock. Tom a few metres away was laying unconscious until 2 people stumbled across him. The ambulance was called and another person passing who happened to be a doctor had a neck brace in her car and placed that around his neck. A firetruck happened to also be passing and stopped to help. He was in a neck brace and on a body board as the ambulance arrived. Tom was rushed to Proserpine hospital and airlifted to Townsville from there. Once in Townsville his injuries were too severe and he was airlifted to Brisbane. All the while with his mother Dawn by his side. She wouldn’t be celebrating her 50th Birthday that day and still now she is anxious around her birthday and refuses to celebrate like she deserves.
Tom woke from his coma 5 days later and was in Intensive care for 3 weeks. He was revived twice by doctors, once 10,000ft above ground on his way to Brisbane.
He suffered a broken back, neck, spinal cord damage, and head injuries. His family were told to prepare that he may not wake from his coma but he pulled through like the champion he is!
Tom spent the next 2.5 months in Brisbane hospital and another month in rehab learning his new way of life. He is now a complete paraplegic with no sensation, feeling or movement from the waist down. Government funded agents arranged for Tom’s first and only wheelchair to date. He also received a pay out from his Superannuation which was used to modify his parents’ home with ramps and rails, his bathroom to accommodate his wheelchair, his special needs bed, pillows and exercise equipment and to live on until he could find himself a job to support himself.
Before the accident Tom was a qualified painter however its no longer possible for him to paint homes so he was left trying to find a job as a paraplegic painter. Trying to adapt to the roll of a paraplegic has been the biggest challenge for Tom and his family since the accident. As he was 21 years old at the time, in his prime as a young adult, living out of home to literally in a blink of an eye have his whole world turned upside down. He moved back in with his parents and has had to learn his new body and new life. It hasn’t been easy but Tom has always stayed positive and with the support of his family and friends he’s conquering life.
A major part of Tom’s life was the great outdoors. He’s a lover of roughing it in the bush, hunting, 4wding, fishing and camping but he’s extremely restricted. Obviously physically however he’s learnt to utilise his wheelchair like a new set of legs. The wheelchair that he has is now almost 5 years old. It’s been a fantastic wheelchair but restricts his use to roads and footpaths. Tom’s new goal is to get back out to nature, to camp with his friends, take his dog for real walks through the bush, go fishing and not be held back.
The Go Fund Me page aims to raise enough money to purchase the ‘All Terrain Wheelchair’ designed and built by ‘Wicked Wheelchairs’.
This new wheelchair is built to ‘conquer the toughest terrain’ allowing Tom the freedom to go and do what he used to before the accident.
PD Law will be proud to donate their funds to this worthy cause. If you would like to find out more information, or make your own donation to this cause select the attached link https://www.gofundme.com/new-wheel-chair-for-tom