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Craig's story

Craig suffered serious injuries to his back, ribs and pelvis when he fell from a ladder at work. At age 70, he has been able to return to the work he loves as a swimming pool manager.

Here, in his own words, Craig tells how a positive mindset and support helped him get back.

Craig Templeman: My name's Craig Templeman. I'm manager, or chief cook and bottle washer here. The members are all lovely, the kids are all lovely. I've trained them all up, you see, they can't misbehave anymore. So, my accident happened on Tuesday the 14th of April, 2020. I was doing a lot of gardening and I stupidly, at age 70, decided to get up a ladder, way too high and trim some big branches of the big Moreton Bay fig we've got down near the front. It was a beautiful morning, clear, no wind so I thought, 'oh, I'll give it a shot', and unfortunately when I was at the top, a little gust of wind happened and like that nursery rhyme you know, old fatso came tumbling down [laughs]. Yeah it was pretty bad, I had a pretty much busted back, broken pelvis front and back. Oh, and 11 broken ribs didn't help and I was about a month in intensive care at the Royal, about another month in intensive care at the Wesley. But I gotta tell you, WorkCover, WorkCover were absolutely fantastic. Particularly a lovely girl called Cindy.

Cindy (Customer Adviser): When I first received Craig's claim, I frankly looked at it in absolute horror. I thought, 'how did this man survive?' He's amazing. Craig was in intensive care. I was dealing with the specialists and his treatment providers to start getting the wheels in motion for his recovery to start taking place.

Craig Templeman: Cindy's support and guidance was simply stunning. You see accidents on the news every night, young people or surfing, car accidents or whatever, whatever and you think 'oh god, it's a struggle to learn to walk again,' you know and you think poor thing, you know. When it happens to you, you realise just how hard it is.

Cindy (Customer Adviser): And each and every day on each and every occasion when I was speaking with Craig it was, 'okay let's go,  let's do it' and he's made a great recovery.

He's never looked back. His passion to get back to work was just incredible.

Craig Templeman: I often think about it, I'm very lucky not to be in a wheelchair and I do love it here - got a plug in [laughs].

Cindy (Customer Adviser): I was more than happy to help in any way that I could because that's where he wanted to be. It was just, that was clearly where he wanted to be. His positive outlook on life and his energy, his drive was just amazing.

Craig Templeman: None of us want to stop, you know, life's about working and enjoying but to be able to continue that into the future you've obviously got to take care of yourself and be very, very cautious, you know. If you're not an expert, if you're not a professional, anything dangerous, just leave it alone. That's my advice, that's the easiest thing. It's just not worth the risk. The good news is, thank god that we've got an organisation like WorkCover to help.

[end of transcript]