At first I was playing rugby league
and that was at the start of the season and I wasn’t even planning
on playing rugby. (man) Seated on the front row.
Okay, so who’s going to be line up behind this one? And I feel the boys talk to me,
and they said, “Go give it a go, let’s have a trial,”
and the coach wanted me to. Yeah, I went down, not expecting
to make it because I was so young. When they made the team list
I was on it so I was quite stoked. Because it means a lot playing
like first fifteen rugby. (man) Three… two… one. Well done. Good luck. (cheering and clapping) I’ve been playing against Christ College.
We’d done the haka and all that sort of stuff,
boost ourselves up, psyched us up. (men chanting)(man)… now go up Shelby.(Cody) Just after the kick off
I called for the ball.There was a guy behind me
and he kind of grabbed by the shoulder, I landed like that first
and I’m not sure if that’s what I’ve done it.
And then after that he fell back on my head. I couldn’t talk. I was trying
to yell out for help, then I started to panic
because I didn’t know what was going on. The coach, said he’s seen
like some fear in my eyes or something, and he ran on
and stopped the play. I had pins and needles
and felt really bad. And kind of stunned when he touched me. Got in the hospital
and there was just people everywhere. I started to panic
and I didn’t want them to do things. They said to me that they’ve got
to put the tongs in my head. They’ve said they’ve got to drill
two little holes into my head and I’ve got to be half awake for it. And that’s when I was refusing and I
started to get into tears and stuff because I don’t want to be awake
when they did that. I was like ‘ Nah, put me to sleep’
and I was telling Mum and Dad like not to let me go in there
that sort of stuff. They didn’t actually leave my side
or for at least three days. They were there for as long as I could…
Didn’t leave me. I don’t remember some of the nights
but I know that they never left and they’re always there. (Sandra Everson) I got to the hospital
before he got there because I was meant to be at the game
and I was running a couple of minutes late and then they ring me,
so I thought I’ll get to the hospital. We had to wait for him to come in
but even then you don’t think it’s that bad
because you don’t hear about anything that bad,
especially at this age. (Warren Everson) I looked at his x rays
and said, “You’re going on to surgery.” And they put him into surgery. He’s in surgery for maybe two hours
he’s been on there, he’s on surgery, and getting the half day on
with the weights hanging off his head. He knew then
that it was serious, literally. And then having weights
hanging off his neck. To have this happen at 15,
it’s just a nightmare. It’s just the last thing you want
for your child, you know.(Warren) He was a good little
rugby player.A lot of the people on the sideline
used to call him ‘wheels,’yeah like, ‘come on wheels!’
because once he gets the ballhe’d just run, and that all you heard is,
‘Wheels, come on!’Well, just hearing the people yelling
that out to him it was really good.I felt really proud, you know,
you used to have people yelling out,‘Come on Cody,’ or ‘Come on Wheels!’
And that at the end of the game,I’d always give him a good pat on the back
‘what a great game, mate.’(chimes ringing) (knock on door) (woman) Good morning, Cody!
Cody? Hi! Oh, can we turn the light on?
That’s probably a bit hard on your eyes, isn’t it?
The first thing in the morning. Good morning!
How are you this morning? Not bad. What’s the time? Oh it’s about 8 o’clock
and you slept in. – Alright, shall we face, wash and dressed?
– Yeah. Do you want your bed up a little bit?
Yeah, I’ll go with controls. – You got it?
– Yep Right. We’ll just straighten your shoulders
up a little bit. – I’ll do this.
– You’re cool? – Oh, well done.
– Yeah, I remember. That’s right, you got
to do it yourself. – Exactly
– As much as you can. Exactly. You could have let me sleep
a bit longer. It’s a bit tough around here, isn’t it? Cold… If you just dab little bits on my face
and wash it around… – Alright.
– Keep the chin – In the neck?
– Here we go. Yeah, alright? (Cody) Well at first,
all I’d day is I’m going to walk. All my mates still say, ‘You know,
you’re going to walk out here. You’re sweet.” At first it was like,
“Yeah, nah, nah. I’m sweet.” I’ll be walking out here.
I’ll tell the nurses and stuff. And now it’s staring to get to the point
where you know, there’s a chance that I can walk but there’s a chance
that I’m going to be in the chair. You know, and I’ve got to accept that
either way. So you’re going to have your breakfast
and I’ll see you in about later. Yeah. If there’s anything you need,
come and see me. okay? Sweet. (Cody) Spinal chord
doesn’t just affect your legs, it affects a whole lot more than that. I’m a tetraplegic
because all four quads are affected. I’ve got really weak hands
and my arm for instance is really weak. At first when I couldn’t feed myself
and I don’t like letting people feed me. Like the first, we kind of got here
they had to feed me and nah, I don’t want to eat,
and I want to do it myself. – You got one of the spreads.
– Yeah. Can you get the margarine? I can open the fridge
but just depends where it is. (Cody) Sholto’s great.
He starts at 9:30 every morning. He pretty much just comes and
helps out like Sholt’s does everything for us pretty much, you know.
Not everything, but just stuff that we need that he knows we can’t do. There’s a garlic,
margin is normal 1A. (Sholto) Yeah, I wouldn’t
just use the garlic with you. Yeah, nah, nah.
looks a bit moldy.It’s crazy how your spinal cord works.
My left arm just startedgetting movement back
and it’s still my weaker arm.– I’m not going to get —
– Let me go there. Have you seen the — I usually have toast every morning,
and the jams, stuff like that. I’m trying to do it myself
get the marge, and the jam that myself,
can’t open it. I get the wee sponge
and put in the knife and I usually try to do it myself. Sweet. It usually takes a while but I usually
have people coming up to me ‘Do you want a hand with that?
You’re alright?’ you know. It’s taken a while,
it’s going to get cold. Oh well, I’m doing it myself. I think we might need to look at some
more adaptive equipment for you. Yeah, I know. Just carry on and I’ll just go
and see what this knife feels like for you. It’s not the right kind of knife
for buttering but just check out. It’s just difficult getting
to the edges of the bread. Instead of someone else making it for me, at least you know you’re
doing it yourself. And once you’re eating, like yeah,
I’ve done it myself, but it took a while. It’s a challenge, but got through it;
toast may be cold but it’s still good because you made it. – Slow and steady.
– Wins the race – Exactly
– Makes you hungry. ♪ (music) ♪ (Sholto) So what I want you
to do today mate, I want you to drop off your drugs
over at the pharmacy. (Cody) You’ll be done by the time I finish this bit (Sholto) I was in the classic
18 to 25 male age group. We’re all bullet proof,
had a big night drinking and I was a front seat passenger
and we decided to go visit a friend and sort of left the road
at 100 miles an hour, hit a tree, and I’m C6-7 complete
as a result. With this initial stage for Cody,
the bumpiest surfaces, set off his spasms
in his hips and his calves. So we’re just experimenting with
what’s going to happen if you’re going to take the weight
and so I’ll push you on there. – And that’s one of the things —
– And with the other one? And the thing that’s bugging Cody
about it at the moment that is making his feet move around
and they’re not nice and square. You see it bounce around
and just do this, and just laying down
as far and low as I can go. That’s worked out, yeah. Kind of stops them,
because I don’t got the strength to push down. So that’s one of the
frustrating things about going outside because if you’re not with anyone
and you keep spasming, usually my foot will go so far forward
’till it falls off the foot plate. See how that left foot’s sitting One thing I like about Cody
is he’s quite self conscious on his appearance and it’s not vanity
or anything like that. It’s just, you care about your appearance
and I like that, and lot of people really don’t give a damn, but I do
and Cody does. It’s cool. You can see him in his skinny jeans there
and his skate shoes, and that’s Cody you know. He doesn’t want to have
to wear track pants by default. ♪ (music) ♪(Sholto) Try and avoid the bumpy pitches
(Cody) Yeah!(Sholto) Because it’s probably going
to set your spasm off.(Cody) Now I’m starting to come to terms
and I realise that I could be in the chairfor the rest of my life, but, oh well…I know some people say,
even they’ve done injuries youngthey don’t see themselves walking.
They prefer being in the chair. They’ve achieved so much in a chair,
if they had the chance, they’d stay in a chair they wouldn’t want to walk. And that’s kind of the way
I’m looking at it; I might be able to achieve
a lot of things in a chair, do everything that I wanted to do,
even more. – Yeah mate, you can put us on the grass.
– Yeah bro. (Cody) Five months since I’ve been here.
None of my mates have missed a day and have about five of them in every day
so it’s been really good. And I can get loud and stuff but…
it’s alright. (Corey Anderson) I couldn’t bring myself
to see him for the first month, just ripped all of us apart,
all of his close friends, people who are close to him. He had huge talent.
He would have made Canterbury teams. I even reckon he could make it
to New Zealand team for touch. He was amazing at rugby.(Cody) Didn’t know what people think of me,
you know, being in a chair now.They’d think of me different and that stuff
but you know, who cares I don’t mind.Everyone’s been around with me;
no one has changed.Here mate!(Cody) The mates are starting to become
a bit normal with me,being like how we were,
how we’d wrestle and stuff like that,have a bit of fun.(Corey) He has improved so much
from seeing himwhen he was in a neck brace
and he would sit there, he couldn’t move.Now you see him now
and he’s just loving life.He’d go out there, see hime throw the footy ball around,
play music with him, dance with him,just do everything
that we liked and used to.(chuckles} – Come on! Where’s the head’s gone?
– My tummy! Someone took off with the hat! – Slide him in.
– You feel alright? Jeans are halfway down my bum. Done! Just like that. Yeah, one of the main things
that I want to know, is just like on my down days,
like what do you do? How do you get through them? (Sholto) It’s just one of those things,
it’s like everybody has a down day. It doesn’t matter who you are
and that’s what’s really important that your circle of friends are there,
you stay with your friends all the time. But like I’ve spoken to you about
you’ve also got to be pro-active and you got to get a hold of
your mates as well, not only just to maintain those links
but when you’re feeling down. And it helps if you’ve got someone
that you may not see regularly, but that you know you can rely on
and talk to. Do you find that being alone
helps a bit too when you’re down? Or do you like to have people around? (Sholto) Well now, personally
I don’t mind my alone time, but I definitely sort of I get —
there’s definitely times when you’re like getting lonely
and stuff like that, and like I found in the past,
that’s why I can give you the advice is you actually have to be proactive
and keep a hold of those mates. ♪ (music) ♪ (Cody) I’ll go down to the gym
and all I want to do is transfers and that stuff. I’m practicing
a lot of that so then I can hopefully get myself up
and get my legs off the bed then jump on the chair and go off. – There you go. Nice.
– Not bad, mate. I didn’t realise you’d elevate so much.
That’s quite a distance between the chair and plinth. (therapist) How long have you been working
on transfers for? – Direct lifting?
– Uhm. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been working
on slide boarding because I’ve never had
the strength to do that. And I just try it and I’ve done it.
I’ve done it with a bit of help but it kind of gave me the confidence
to want to keep doing it and like that I can do it.
But yeah, it’s pretty difficult because you’ve got to get your hands
in the right place, and you’ve got to watch your bum as well,
because you don’t want to scrape it on the wheel, because then that
can just close you on to go on bed rest for a bit,
give you a sore on your bum. But yeah, it takes a lot of effort
and you can’t do too may of them. At the moment, I’m still not very fit.
So you need to work on a lot on my strength than my fitness
to do more of them. – You’re gonna force them.
– Come on leg! (Sholto) It’s a big part about
having options, you know. We can choose when you want to hop
in and out of your chair for example. You may want to hop in and out of a couch
just for a break out of your chair. In and out of bed by yourself. But I can also remember my early days
transferring to bed, and forgetting to turn the light out,
and you got to get back out again and although it’s a pain,
it’s good to know that you’ve got that ability. So right down low… – Awesome!
– Wow! – Great lift there.
– How much of that was you Annie? – Like two percent?
– Wow! That was impressive. (Cody) One of the doctors was like to me,
‘You’re not allowed to leave here till you’re able to give me the finger.”
so here I was all weekend, trying to like move my finger
so I can give him the finger, so I can just leave. So that day, I was talking to the nurse
and he was like, “Oh tape your hands up, so you’ve got one finger sticking up. – Well mate, are you feeling strong?
– Oh, so by now? Yeah. I’ll be there. Make sure yo lean forward,
and just crank it up. Nice and strong. Lean forward though. (chuckles) That’s it. And stuff… (Cody) A bit scared — you know
because I’m going home in a day and just thought to myself, well,
I’ve got to get out of the safety zone because I feel safe here. (Sholto) Just a wee bit more
with your right arm to help straighten up. (Cody) I can’t ask the nurse
to do this for me because she’s not going to be around. Doing good mate.
Keep that momentum, keep going. Keep moving. – Whooh!
– Excellent! Just say, you’re on the street,
you’re going and you’re accidentally get
in someone’s way or something like that and they say something to you quite cruel.
How do you manage that? Do you just walk away
or just deal with it? Well you have to because —
and it’s not an uncommon thing because most people are used
to looking straight ahead, they just don’t see you coming. That’s where, you’ve got to be
a little bit — you need a bit more awareness there, okay
because you have to make up for their lack of awareness. Yeah, what about like,
because you had a girlfriend at the time, So was she alright with it?
Did she like stick by you and stuff? How did you go like,
when you got out of here, with women and stuff like that? Well, I feel pretty lucky in that respect.
She was really strong, and really supportive of me,
and she helped me a lot as well as raised our kids. For a lot of our relationship,
it was almost like she was raising two and a half, three and a half kids. I mean, how do you feel about it?
I mean, do you feel — do you think the chicks
are checking you out? Or do you think that —
what do you think they’re thinking? Pity or? Well, I try not to you know.
Just trying because you don’t know if they are like — they could be
but they might not be. There are sort of stuff I try
like it is I’m still normal like how was before this you know.
I look at girls the same way, and they might look at me
the same way, you don’t know. Yeah. ♪ (music) ♪ (nurse) So you are looking forward
to going home? Yeah. I’m looking forward to it,
starting to get into it… but I just want to get home. Yeah. I know, you look forward to it.
I mean, it’s a big step though. (Cody) Well, I was trying
to get into my mind, when I go home, it’s going to be normal. I’m not going think it’s going to be crap
or anything like that. Everything’s going to be
more of a challenge but you know I read this good quote
that I’d always look at, “don’t let what you can’t do
affect what you can do.” I can’t even stretch forward enough. (nurse) But then when you go home,
sometimes you just need to work some of these things out. If you keep doing that,
I’ll just help with the shoe. I can do it in the gym alright. It’s more too,
because this is not slippery as well. Yeah. And those beds and the gym are
designed for that as well. I think at first a lot of people
want to help me, and think that I can’t do much for myself, but it will slowly come
to terms with them. (nurse) Alright, cool! Well done. Yay! – Trying to put my foot in. – Phone. What else do we need?
Do you need anything else? – No that’s sweet
– Where’s your tablets? Yeah. ♪ (music) ♪ (Cody) It’s been five months
and it’s gone awfully quick. People were saying, you know,
once you leave here, it goes really quick. You can have your good days,
and have your bad days but it goes fast. – I’m not falling out?
– No mate. Can you got a little bit more? (Warren) For me, by crikey
it was a hell of a shock to see such an energetic,
fit young man and his legs have been taken off him. He hasn’t thrown his lollies
out of the cot like all expect him to do. But he’s making life up,
he’s got plans, he’s going to be a Wheelchair Black,
that’s his goal. – Nah, just one at a time.
– Take your hand off. – And this is why spasms sucks.
– Yeah that causes… Let me get your chair out off the road ♪ (music) ♪ (Warren) That might help, aye?
Look at that. Just doesn’t… wheels won’t enter.
Alright Tyler? Oh! That was awkward. (engine running) Still sinking in, still sinking in,
but it’s going to be a long time. We’ll get there. ♪ (music) ♪ (Warren) We’re going to have
a hell of a long road; a universe. He’s got three brothers actually
that are there and my crikey, he’s got a lot of
bloody mates. So as far as I’m concerned,
I class that as just one big family and he’ll get all the help
he wants from anybody, or any one of us. (Cody) I love challenges.
I’m happy to come across something
that I can’t do, try it again later on in the week, or months or years. (Warren) One…two…three Oh I hope he achieves everything
that’s he’s going to set himself out to do. I’ll be there for him
for as long as he wants me to be. Really surprised at just sort of
how disability aware his friends are, and it’s not sort of knowing
all about disabilities, but it’s just their ability
to just accept him as another person. – Hey bro! It’s just like we’re the same, you know
being normal for me and just be how it used
to get back to normal. I don’t want them to look
at me any different. I’m sitting down all the time
but apart from that I’m still the same.