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Earlier this year Claire and her fiancé, an officer in the Navy set off on a couple of weeks holiday before he deployed overseas. Claire had just taken a redundancy from her job. During their holiday, Claire was involved in an accident and her knee was badly injured. She was told surgery and a year-long recovery at least was ahead of her. 
The injury was so severe that Claire had to wear a knee brace, use crutches and not bear any weight on her injured leg for over nine weeks. The pain was the worst she had ever experienced and Claire found sleep difficult. She was also unable to walk or drive - she had lost her independence, something that is difficult for an active and healthy person.
Every action, from getting out of bed to making a cup of tea, became a daily challenge and when her partner deployed two weeks later, Claire was left feeling isolated and with mounting health and other bills.
Unfortunately, Claire’s accident occurred the same day as her mother went in for a double knee replacement and her parents couldn’t leave their home interstate to assist her.
“I was very lucky that a few weeks later a friend of mine could fly from interstate to look after me. She helped me with grocery shopping, cooking, driving me to the physiotherapist and pool therapy three times a week, as well as other health appointments.”
Claire contacted RSL DefenceCare in the hope that she might be able to get some help in managing her recovery while her partner was on deployment.
“I spoke with Peter from RSL DefenceCare. Peter was a gentleman on the phone and very empathetic. He clearly outlined the process and was very prompt in getting back to me. I felt I had talked with someone who understood how big events, like injury, can really have a profound impact.
“It was a very difficult time both practically, financially and emotionally. When Peter said RSL DefenceCare was going to help with the costs to fly my friend down to look after me I was, and still am, very grateful.
“My difficult experience has inspired me to start my own website (called Recover from Injury) to provide information to other people greatly affected by temporary injury. Thanks RSL DefenceCare for making things a little bit easier and to Peter for being so understanding and efficient.”

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