08 June 2020



It is hard to believe that just over a decade ago Steve was in hospital fighting for his life as pneumococcal disease ravaged his body.

Today, the active 63-year-old, from Northam in Western Australia, is back to doing the things he loves whether it is a fishing trip, travelling with mates or simply cruising on his Harley Davidson.

He described in detail the septicaemia that turned his flesh black while it attacked his previously healthy tissue.

“I was turning black, all over my body, my face, my ears, my lips fell off. Pneumococcal septicaemia. Usually you don’t survive,” Steve said.

After two weeks in intensive care Steve woke to news that his legs could not be saved.

“Chop, Chop. It was a pretty hard thing to process. I used to be really fit so I was pretty upset about all of that,” Steve said.

The hospital supplied his first prosthetic legs to learn the ropes on before progressing to new, more permanent ones.

APM together with the NDIS ensured that Steve got the legs he wanted so he could re-engage with the life he loved to live.

“APM were the ones who put it together between the NDIS and me. Since then everything has gone easy and I have got the best legs you can get,” Steve said.

“It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t got them, but these are almost like your own feet. When you are walking and you bang into the ground, I don’t smash my stump.”

On a recent prospecting trip to Toodyay with mates he easily navigated the undergrowth, walking in the bush at night.

“I went with the boys in the middle of the night, with no lights, with a detector and walked a kilometre in and a kilometre out over two massive hills in the dark and it wasn’t me who fell over.”

Steve says he still drives a manual car and likes to ride his motorcycle. He and his wife also planned a fishing trip to Streaky Bay with their dog.

“I got my life back, “he said.

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory to access support.

For more information about accessing NDIS and other support for people with disability, contact APM Communities on 1300 276 522 or email lac@apm.net.au


Libby Oldershaw

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