A Business Cuts Pain; after a Plane Crash Nearly Killed Her, the Ex-Nurse Retrained in Occupational Therapy

Article excerpt

Byline: Gen Kennedy gen.kennedy@thechronicle.com.au

A PLANE crash that could have ended Patricia Hughes's life instead set it on a new course.

In 1990, Ms Hughes was travelling on a small plane from Victoria to Brisbane. The plane crashed at Archerfield and left her with multiple head injuries and a back broken in six places.

The long journey to recovery included working with an occupational therapist who set her on a path to become an OT herself, and eventually to open Downs Pain Clinic on Mylne St.

Ms Hughes, a former nurse, said the area of pain management was one she was drawn to because of her own experiences.

"After my second back operation in 1996 they put me in rehabilitation, and I worked with an OT and she changed my life.

"And because of that, I decided the reason I survived was so that I would become an OT.

"Because of my injuries I have chronic pain myself, and although I've worked in a variety of areas as an OT, I seem to be drawn back to areas of chronic pain or persistent pain.

"I help people find alternative ways of doing things are meaningful to them. …