Tony Pratt is one of the most well-known faces among the sea of healthcare professionals and admin staff that deliver world class healthcare at the PA Hospital (PAH), but he never imagined he would be under the care of his colleagues.
Having spent more than 27 years across two stints as a physiotherapist at the PAH, Tony had only ever spent one night in the hospital due to a bout of salmonella, until late last year when he had a nasty bicycle accident while cycling to work.
That accident resulted in a fractured pelvis, fractured radius, fractured fourth metacarpal, a facial laceration including a laceration on his eyelid which would require surgery, as well as post traumatic amnesia.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for Tony he does not remember the accident on 10 November or the first week he spent in hospital due to his amnesia, but thanks to a kind passerby and his cycling tracking device he does have an understanding of where he came off his bike.
“I don’t remember leaving to go to work or the night before,” he said.
“I know I drove in and parked under the green bridge on my way to work to go for my ride and the crash must have happened on my way back to go to work. Outside of the fact I use a Wahoo to record my rides on an app the only reason I know where I was is from where the guy found me and rang triple zero.”
“It was obviously a fairly serious accident, but I am very thankful I didn’t have a spinal cord injury or a brain injury.”
Tony doesn’t remember the operation on his eyelid and face but does remember the care given by his colleagues, both during his stay in hospital and afterward as he worked towards returning to work.
“A few nurses have told me they looked after me, but I don’t remember it. I remember waking up in Ward 1D. I’m not sure I went through orthopaedics or not, but I know I had orthopaedic type injuries, but I do remember waking up in 1D and going back to 1D after plastics operated on my hand because that’s where their patients go back to,” Tony said.
“I also went through the transit hub on the way home.
“I honestly cannot fault any of the staff that cared for me they were all really good; I’d imagine they are like that with everybody even if you aren’t a staff member.
“I remember one of the AIN’s (assistants in nursing) in 1D came around and even though I don’t grow a lot of facial hair she gave me a face shave, just because it makes you feel more comfortable and presentable. They all just do those little extra things for you that help you recover.
“All of the staff at the hospital do their jobs because they want to do it to help people and they are quite good at it.”
“We are all tightknit and support each other in the physiotherapy department, I’ve been really thankful for the support of my colleagues through this whole time.
“Only a few days after I got back to work, they sent through a bunch of goodies to my home to say welcome back which was really nice of them. They have all checked on how I am doing and offered to help if they can.”
Tony Pratt (left) with colleague Ange O'Connor is back at work at the PA following his bicycle accident.Tony has been back at work for a few months now, which was one of his main goals post-accident.
“I got back a bit quicker than they expected and I was very happy to return to work. I didn’t think I’d miss work so much, but I did, and it was really nice to get back working,” he said.
“I tried to set myself goals all the time in my recovery, to keep myself moving and not decondition too much.
“It would be easier to not get involved in your own rehab and not set yourself some goals, even when I was at home, I did things like trim my garden which gave me something useful to do and helped keep me active. It also helps keep you happier as well because you are achieving something.
“I have really enjoyed working at the PA through most of my career, it’s been a really good place to work.”
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