This is an excerpt from the impact statement I wrote in our days leading up to court.
I now share it in the hope it will provide some insight into mine and my family’s experiences on the day of and following the accident.
“The most heartfelt statement I have ever read”. – Magistrate Vivien Edwards
1 hour and 15 minutes.
The time it takes to get to Royal Perth Hospital from my family home.
1 Hour and 15 minutes…
How long my family sat in the car in total disbelief thinking that they had lost me.
That their son, their brother… was dead.
3 hours and 30 minutes… The period of time I wasn’t known as Dylan Matthew Czeladka.
I was referred to as… “an unidentified male”.
When my family finally arrived at the hospital I had already been transferred to surgery.
The news of which to them was a breath of fresh air to know that I was even still alive although fighting for my life.
That happiness was short lived.
If the surgery was a success… they were told by the surgeon the following potential outcomes:
- “He may never walk or talk again”
- “He may not be the same person you remember”
- “We don’t know about his vision” ( a daunting thought as I had already lost my left eye to cancer as a child)
and finally…“You may lose him”.
Some friends and family members even made the heartbreaking choice of
Saying their goodbyes to me, just in case.
Could you blame them?!
5 Days in the ICU they came to visit me. Sitting around my bed talking to me without response, while other patients were there one day… and died the next.
Sleeping in the car, sleeping on tattered couches outside the ward waiting and hoping in anticipation that I would wake up and they would have me back.
I would say how blessed I feel to even be here writing this impact statement today, but no amount of me saying it would ever be enough and it is a long hard road to find any kind of positivity from this experience.
I find little comfort in being told that “things could have been so much worse”.
When I first woke up I could barely communicate, 2 days In I couldn’t walk unassisted and when I was finally transferred to RITH I couldn’t even buy $5 worth of lollies from the hospital shops without becoming confused.
I came home a broken, emotionally void and co-dependent man.
Even now I still have limited to nil emotional control and a nonexistent self esteem.
I hardly want to leave the house; I hardly want to leave my room.
All this has led to outbursts of misplaced anger and aggravation that those close to me feel the brunt of.
I have a name again, but sometimes I still feel like an unidentified male… still trying to put the pieces of my life back together all while reinventing myself knowing that I’m not really the same person I was before.
At times, I feel like a leaf in the wind that has lost all control of his life.
To be continued…