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Humans of POWH: Daniel

Daniel – Spinal Cord Injuries Peer Support Worker

Q1: Would you be okay to share with us how and when your spinal injury occurred?

A: In 2008, I was a 26 year old expat living and working in Whistler, Canada and was celebrating a recent promotion on a night out when I fell, tumbling down a flight of stairs and breaking my neck, it went from everything being fantastic to everything being, quite literally, turned on it’s head. In an instant everything had changed, doctors determined I had an incomplete injury to my spinal cord at the C5-C6 vertebrae, while the good news was my spinal cord had remained intact, the devastating news was I was now a quadriplegic and would almost certainly never walk again.

Q2: What drove you to be a peer support worker and how long have you worked in this position for now?

A: I’ve always been involved customer service roles and been drawn to work with people. While in rehab in Vancouver I had a great mentor who worked with me and that, coupled with the negative experiences I had been through after I left the rehab unit meant I found myself wanting to make sure no one else would have to go through some of the issues I faced. If I could give someone advice based of my life experience to ease their experience then why not. I love being able to help clients realize their full potential and for the past ten years, it’s been an honor helping people.

Q3: What kind of support do you provide to our patients?

A: Our team provide lived experience on everything from self & personal care through to equipment, travel and living in the community and more. We follow our clients through every step of the journey and support them and their families however we can.

Q4: Do you have a memory that stands out to you from your time with patients on our spinal ward?

A: I can’t say there’s one stand out memory for me to be honest, I’ve seen some beautiful moments over the past ten years, and seeing people exceed their own expectations with our help is honestly what keeps me coming back each day