Living with a disability is no barrier to success

Released on 26 April 2018
Tyler CoS site.jpg

(This article is featured in the April 2008 edition of Salisbury Aware).

In 2006, as a 12 year old, Tyler was innocently riding his bike with his cousins in Whyalla. Whyalla provided a care free and trusting lifestyle for a kid.

A split second decision saw Tyler ride in front of a car. Not wearing a helmet he hit the front of the car, was airborne over the car and landed in the trailer that the car was towing.

Life stopped still.

Tyler broke both of his lower legs with the right leg being an open wound fracture, broke his left arm and instantly had brain damage.

In the days that followed, he was held in a coma, had a brain clot, swelling of the brain, the right side of his body suffered paralysis.  The brain swelling necessitated the temporary removal of nearly half of his skull.

When he emerged from a coma 23 days later he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t talk and his doctors said that it’s likely he would remain in a vegetative state.

The accident changed Tyler’s life. A long 5 year journey of rehabilitation of physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy had begun.

That journey and effort saw Tyler recognised in 2007 with the President’s Award from Novita for his early efforts in rehabilitation.

In 2012 he finished his Year 12 at Salisbury High School, now volunteers with SCOSA, completing a Certificate III and Certificate IV in Disability, has trained and worked casually as a Barista.

In 2017 he joined City of Salisbury Youth Council and has been advocating strongly for disability inclusion. He has had numerous public speaking engagements and has a passionate message for young people “Wear a helmet, you’re not invincible”.

Tyler said “The impact on my family of this accident has been massive, broken bones will heal, but the role of a bike helmet is to prevent the irreversible brain injury. Please ensure kids wear correctly fitted helmets”. 

Tyler continues to overcome challenges from the accident and was recently elected by the City of Salisbury Youth Council to lead the 2018 Disability Inclusion Project Team. Tyler’s latest goal is getting his licence and moving into independent accommodation.

If you would like to hear more of Tyler’s story watch this video: