Tragedy To Triumph

Scott Painter | My Story

My name is Scott Painter I was a past client of Gold Coast Hospital and this is my story of how I became a Clinical Exercise Physiologist (Neurological therapy).

When I was 17 years old I was diagnosed as having a cerebellum haemangioma (brain tumour) and three strokes.

I was completing some farm work on my tractor where I had to consistently turn my head to look behind me. Later that night I had a very sore neck, I went to my doctor and he prescribed me with some anti-inflammatory
creams which had no effect on lowering my neck pain. I then visited my chiropractor a week later as my neck pain was getting worse. This again had no effect on decreasing my neck pain.

The next day I visited my acupuncturist as my neck pain was so bad being a 10/10. While I was getting up from lying on the acupuncturists table I went into a coma. An ambulance arrived taking me to a hospital in Lismore, NSW.

While in hospital a MRI scan was completed revealing a mass wrapped around my cerebellum and brain stem.

I was transported to a hospital on the Gold Coast where 24 hours into my hospital stay a “Code blue” was called over the loud speaker (I stopped breathing) and I had to be placed on life support. I went into major surgery
to remove the tumour as my breathing had stopped and there was no choice but to operate.

Due to the surgery to remove the tumour I suffered three strokes which paralysed my whole left side. Due to the three strokes I had to re-learn how to Eat, Talk and walk again.

During my hospital stay I developed Golden Staph, Pseudomonas, Collapsed Lungs, Double Vision, and Urinary Tract Infections.

I started with learning how to sit first then stand for up to one minute with my Physiotherapist. My blood pressure would drop leaving me dizzy and light headed where I blacked out and fell over constantly. After my blood pressure settled to a normal level I relearned to walk up to 100m with
assistance of a person for falls prevention.

I lost the ability to talk and swallow due to the paralysis of my voice box, tongue and muscles of my oesophagus. I underwent extensive speech therapy to be able to talk and eat again.

Stay Strong! Think Positive!

I was fed through a nasal tube for the first 2 months in hospital and since it was going to be long term throat paralysis I underwent a procedure to be peg fed (tube through my skin into stomach).


As I could not move my left arm or hand I underwent weekly occupational therapy to increase the function of my left arm and hand.

Six months later when I left the hospital at the Gold Coast I was able to talk and walk up to 100m but still unable to swallow for the next 12
months.

I attended an outpatient rehabilitation program for five months where I participated in physical rehabilitation on a once per weekly basis at a
facility in Lismore, NSW.

The cost of rehabilitation was extensive where I thought to myself I can do this rehabilitation myself. I paid Physiotherapy for 3.5 years and Optometry for 3 years (I had diplopia which is a visual problem that gives you double vision). I converted my garage into my own rehabilitation gymnasium with the help of my family to complete extra self-management rehabilitation.

I participated in rehabilitation every day for seven years in my garage gymnasium engaging in cardiovascular, muscle strengthening,
balance retraining exercises and vision exercises while walking in bars.

The benefits I was getting from physical therapy rehabilitation made me want to help others who have a physical disability to get more quality of life.

I went to a university in Lismore where I studied an undergraduate degree in exercise science and nutrition and Master’s Degree in
Clinical Exercise Physiology (neurological studies) to help others that were like me.

I am now a Clinical Exercise Physiologist specializing in neurological rehabilitation at a not for profit organization called Headway ABI
Australia on the Gold Coast. It is remarkable the technology they have at this facility to get people who have had a brain injury up walking, increasing cardiovascular fitness, improving muscle strength, improving range of motion, improving motor control, increasing
balance & cognitive performance as I have been on both sides of the fence ‘A Client and Practitioner’ I believe this makes me a very rare Allied Healthcare Practitioner & I am here at Headway ABI on the Gold
Coast.

Pop on in to see me at my Gold Coast Centre…
s.painter@headwayabi.org