I was struggling to walk by February 2018 and used a Walker to help myself around when I was away from the house
Then on 17th March 2018 I had a Sciatica event whereby a vertebra in my back crumbled and pinched a nerve. I was as if my legs had been knocked out from under me and I fell down in the passageway. I managed to get myself to my bed and Judith rang to get the ambulance. They drugged me so that I wasn’t feeling any pain and walked me to the ambulance. At the hospital I had to endure a student doctor’s questioning and after I had recovered a bit they sent me home with two panadol. Unimpressed, I was.
The next morning I was struggling to walk and it was time to go to Adelaide to look for a scooter or an electric wheelchair. On the second day of looking we found an electric wheel-chair, which was suitable, for $3500. It is made by the Gold Motor Company in China and weighs 35kg. We also found a hoist and paid $800 for that but after a short while we stopped using it as Judith found it too difficult to use. Now it sits in the garage gathering dust.
I was still able to walk short distances with my walker and even built an Offroad model for easy access through the garden.
But the nerve kept on with acute pain and I slowly became weaker until I could not stand or walk any longer.
I had a desert trip planned for May 2019 but I pulled the pin and rang all participants on February 1, to tell them that I could not do it anymore and that my 4×4 days were over. They were stunned.
I have been enjoying camping and the wild parts of South Africa, Namibia and Australia since the mid 1960’s. I bought my first 4×4 in 1977 and my enjoyment in camping and exploring and using my 4×4 over rough terrain lasted 42 years.
It was a good innings but it was time to hang up the boots!
I would like to say thanks to many friends who helped me along the way. Friends like Mal Stewart, Glenn Pascoe, Adam Craze, Eric Christoper and Ron Moon. My mate George Griffin who dragged himself along on many trips and with who I have been friends since 1977. I am not sure whether to thank him or not as he caused me grief on many trips LOL Thank you George for being there and perpetuating our 4×4 hobby.
I still have a Nissan Patrol GQ and I drive it up to the Men’s Shed on Wednesdays and more often than not my mate Rex Morris comes to get my wheelchair out the back and helps me in to the shed. Thanks Rex.