An outstanding award for a remarkable man

When fellow Northern Sydney Wellbeing Officer Norm Pounder and I first had the pleasure to meet Lee on the 29 April 2015 in the Intensive Care Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital, we looked at one another and said “what a determined and strong willed young man Lee is”.

On the 18 April 2015, Lee was hit side on by a motor vehicle whilst travelling on his motor cycle. He suffered severe injuries, namely a shattered T2 vertebrae, severed spinal cord, punctured lung, two broken ribs, sternum injuries, underwent urgent surgery and was told he would never walk again.

There he was on our first meeting telling us unequivocally that he would overcome his injuries and get back to enjoying his life with his partner Rozina and sons Nikola and Jett. We have stayed in contact with Lee during his rehab at Royal Rehab Centre, Ryde, his return to home and he has continued to amaze us with his progress.

He has adapted to his new life with tremendous determination and success, with his regular pursuits including driving his motor vehicle, surfing, swimming, hand cycling, gym workouts and his latest adventure was camping – will nothing stop our man Lee?

Since his accident, Lee has become an active Men of League Foundation Member, attending our functions, always willing to talk about his circumstances and is an Ambassador for Sargood on Collaroy. Sargood is a state-of-the-art, luxury accessible accommodation, purpose built centre for people living with spinal cord injuries.

Lee is a modest person, who is greatly admired by all who know him and he is an inspiration to others who are suffering spinal injuries. The Royal Rehab Centre, Ryde, are set to present Lee with an Achievement Award, for his support of the Royal Rehab Centre, his Ambassador role with Sargood on Collaroy, his continued support and involvement with the Men of League Foundation.

This formal recognition is truly deserved and it will be an inspiration to others, who face the similar issues through their spinal injuries. The Award will be formally presented to Lee at the Ryde Sports Foundation, Sports Star of the Year Gala Dinner, Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club on the 4 May, 2018 (more details to follow).

I urge Men of League Foundation Members to attend this presentation dinner and show our fellow Member, Lee and his family the level of our pride and admiration that they are held for all they have achieved in very difficult circumstances.

by Ken Vessey, Wellbeing Coordinator Northern Sydney Men of League

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