Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Injury Sees Life Change How Injury Gave Denis a New Life; Leg Amputation Forces a Rethink for Denis

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Injury Sees Life Change How Injury Gave Denis a New Life; Leg Amputation Forces a Rethink for Denis

Article excerpt

Byline: TIM HOWARD tim.howard@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE year is 1985 and Grafton man Denis Collins is recovering from his third serious road accident in 13 years and contemplating life without one of his legs.

A life of partying with his mates, short-term jobs and playing sports is no longer an option, but the fact he is alive at all is the good news.

In 1972 Denis was knocked more than 20 metres from his pushbike by a drunk driver.

In 1977, on the way by car to a basketball carnival, he and his friends were struck by another drunk driver who had drifted to the wrong side of the road.

Denis went through the windscreen and was, as he put it, a[approximately]a bit of a mess'.

Then in 1985, Denis's stationary motorbike was struck by a car whose driver failed to realise the bike was parked on the side of the road.

"He had no drugs or alcohol in his system, they just say I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.

Denis was taken to hospital with serious leg, shoulder and head injuries. The leg injuries eventually resulted in the amputation of his right leg at the knee.

Fast forward to 2010 where Denis Collins is the nursing unit manager at Swan Hill District Hospital renal dialysis and chemotherapy ward, a job he has held since May.

He admitted to feeling pretty sorry for himself after the accident that occurred on his mother's birthday in 1985.

"After having a torrid time emotionally, mentally and physically, when I started coming out of that period it sort of pushed me over the line to finally take up a career instead of moving around with my jobs," Denis said. "Yes, it tipped me over the edge into the career of nursing at the age of 26."

Denis had been a wardsman at Grafton Base Hospital at the time of the accident and had toyed with the idea of nursing when he left school in 1975. …

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