Here at Origin we are proud to say that we have the most amazing clients and PAs. Their endeavours regularly challenge perceptions of life with a disability and stereotypes of the role of ‘carer’. We would like to share some of their stories with you – these are stories that lift the spirit and always deliver a ‘wow’ factor.
With his mantra of ‘access is a state of mind’ ringing in his ears, Dave Shraga set off to Anjuna, a small village in Goa, India to undertake research for his university studies, along with Origin PA, Nic Moran and big concerns about travelling in the ‘rainy season’ (monsoon!) and the complexities of travel and disabled access in India.
The plan was to be in Goa for 10 weeks, working with Video Volunteers – a community media NGO who facilitate local community media projects.
Unfortunately after an extended trip to meet people living in a protected, conservation park Dave became ill and had to be treated in hospital for septicaemia. Dave says, ‘My strenuous schedule plus the difficulties of controlling my temperature in 34° heat pushed my body to the limits.’
‘The magical spell of Goan paradise was broken when Dave became ill and in a critical condition. As PA and client we had become good friends and were very close – so I experienced some very dark days during this time and was left wondering if Dave would have the time to do what he set out to do regarding his research,’ confessed Nic. ‘This was my first trip to India and it was fascinating. I was fortunate to get a glimpse of how different people react and cope with disability which has left a profound impression. But above all I have enjoyed the day to day challenges that have given me great confidence in my role of Origin PA and I feel happy and privileged that I was able to help Dave achieve something he wanted to do.’
Undaunted by his being unwell, Dave says, ‘ For some people it is amazing that with a little push they can go on to great things but I also understand and appreciate that some people do not want to be pushed but to stay in their comfort zone and that is where they thrive.’