Ben – Making a Difference

A rather serious vehicle accident I was involved in some years back that should have ended my life put me in a position where I can’t 100% look after myself.  I have sustained a vision impairment and my memory isn’t real good anymore.  At the accident, I had sustained a heart attack which stopped the flow of oxygen to my brain for a good 30-40 minutes.  I then suffered 3 more heart attacks in the ambulance on the way to hospital and another in hospital so I had effectively sustained 5 heart attacks in the space of about 3 hours so my short-term memory is a bit hazy.

I’ve lost about 1-2 years on either side of the accident. My long term is still very clear I could tell you anything I did prior to the accident in detail.  It appears when I came out of hospital the state government had destroyed the state’s budget and I have been unable to find full-time work.  I am a casual at Bunnings in Willetton but in the cooler parts of the year there’s no work and due to being a low income earner being on a disability pension this can make things difficult.  I have a house that’s mine pretty much till I’m dead so I’ve got no concern about going homeless or going broke.

Now after being discharged from hospital I have been through a couple of care organisations that would promise things they wouldn’t fulfil such as appointments to see certain people that would get changed without telling the “Client”  – oh yes!

Cam Can refer to the people they are supporting as people with names not just a person with a client number.  I will admit there have been some ups and downs with Cam Can when I first became a member trying to match up support workers that will work with members well.  There have been a couple of support workers that more or less in the initial meeting in my head I was like there is no way we are working together but it all seems to be smooth sailing now. “I won’t elaborate on the individuals” so yeah that’s my story and I think my quality of life the way it is now wouldn’t really be achievable without the assistance that I get from Cam Can so from the bottom of my heart I thank you. Thank you for listening.

HIGHLY MOTIVATED TO HELP OTHERS, BEN’S LIFE HAS NEW PURPOSE

Ben participates in a couple of other initiatives he can be exceptionally proud of. He volunteers at the Perth Children’s Hospital entertaining children while they sit waiting. His unique and fun antics have proven to be a fabulous distraction to prevent children from becoming bored. He goes to great lengths to put a smile on their faces for which families and staff are very grateful. This is one way in which Ben feels he is able to help others.

Ben also wanted to teach others about the dangers of losing concentration while driving. Surviving a car crash presented Ben with an alternative life – a life with different challenges and opportunities to the one he had been living. Ben has been keen to help educate other drivers about road safety, particularly new drivers. As such he started presenting his story to various groups including potential drivers who are still at school. In December 2020 Ben and another driver by the name of Paul became involved in a campaign titled “The Life Toll” launched by Minister for Police and Road Safety, Michelle Roberts along with the Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner, “reminding drivers that a momentary lapse in concentration behind the wheel can change your life forever”.

“The stories from Ben and Paul in the Life Toll campaign are real and they are brave,” said Minister Roberts.

“I hope it might make people pause for a moment and be that little more patient, tolerant and courteous to other road users.”

Ben’s message to others is that an accident such as his “takes a huge toll on your life”. He says “it is not something anyone would want to go through”. He knows first-hand how things can change in an instant. Alerting drivers to this message may potentially save others – this is Ben’s goal.