Resilience In Face Of Trauma


I had an accident and a brain injury and I was here for weeks. But me and my missus call it the ‘good accident’ because so many positives have come from it.

Sam Johnson recently took centre stage at Epworth HealthCare, as part of an employee wellbeing and resilience speaker series, sharing his remarkable story. While many know Sam for his tireless advocacy work with the Love Your Sister charity, his visit to Epworth marked an emotional moment as he reflected on his own life journey, separate from his sister Connie’s well-documented battle with cancer.

Sam has developed a strong bond with Epworth, stemming from a pivotal moment in his life when he became an Epworth patient following a traumatic road accident. Hit by a car on a service road, Sam’s life took an unexpected turn.

Recounting the incident, Sam candidly shared, “I went behind a tree and I don’t remember anything else. My missus saw it all and held my head together while the ambulance came, it was a near-death experience.

“I was at Epworth for a couple of months and I was a proper humpty.

“As patients, we come here and you build us back together again and you get us back out into the world. So, I want to acknowledge not just the people that have helped put me back together, but to all of you, for helping everyone like me.”

Expressing his gratitude to the dedicated healthcare professionals at Epworth, Sam emphasised the profound impact their care had in his recovery.

“I really appreciate the fact that you spend your entire lives getting trained and putting people like me back together again. I owe you forever.”

Despite the challenges he faced, Sam fondly reminisced about his time at Epworth, highlighting the unwavering support and encouragement he received from staff members such as Andrew, an Epworth orderly.

“I was inspired by everyone here, including Andrew,” he shared.

“I was having a bad mental health day that day and was not being a model patient. We were in the lift together for 4.5 seconds and Andrew could see I was in a dark place that day. He just said, ‘well maybe today’s the day you choose to be a winner’.

“I went to my rehab session and Andrew was right. It is hard to describe how grateful I am.”

Sam’s journey of resilience extends beyond his recovery at Epworth. Through his work with Love Your Sister, he has touched countless lives and found a renewed purpose.

Reflecting on his experiences, Sam remarked, “I went on this unicycling adventure around the country, and it cured me of my pessimism and turned me into a hopeless optimist”.

Sam’s presentation, made possible by an Epworth Medical Foundation Speaker Grant and the generous support of our donor community, serves as a testament to the power of resilience, gratitude and human spirit. When faced with adversity, there is always hope.

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