Healthy Hero Ambassadors
The Alfred is delighted to welcome back Jason McCartney as an official ambassador of The Alfred Father’s Day Appeal. A victim of the Bali bombings in 2002, Jason’s much-celebrated road to recovery is proof that a commitment to better health, while sometimes challenging, is well worth it.
With this year marking the 15-year anniversary of the bombing, Jason lives life to its fullest in appreciation of the outstanding, life-saving trauma and burns care that he received at The Alfred.
Having suffered severe second-degree burns to over 50 per cent of his body in the bomb blast, Jason was flown from Bali to The Alfred in a coma. It was here that he was given a second chance. He worked hard to recover from his injuries, beginning his long rehabilitation journey with two key objectives in mind: to marry his fiancée Nerissa as planned, and to make a return to AFL football – a feat that was then considered an almost impossible task.
However, thanks to Jason’s unwavering determination, as well as the remarkable support that he received from Alfred clinicians, he successfully made an inspirational return to football in 2003, before emotionally announcing his retirement after the final whistle.
Following his retirement, Jason remains involved in elite sport through the AFL National Talent Pathway program and as List Manager at the Western Bulldogs Football Club.
Jason continues to enjoy a happy and healthy life with Nerissa and his two sons Lucas and Aiden – aged 10 and 8 respectively.
“As a father of two, I work hard to stay fit and healthy,” Jason says. “My children inspire me every day and I do everything I can to maintain my health.”
We are grateful to Luke Taylor for getting behind the The Alfred Father’s Day Appeal for 2017.
A building designer who lives in Ballarat, Luke is a loving, single dad in his mid-thirties. He is passionate about cycling and he is passionate about his family. And, most importantly, he is passionate about his eight-year-old son, Alfie.
On a Saturday morning in May this year, Luke jumped on his bicycle and set off for a ride in the country. Until, seemingly out of nowhere, he was hit by a car.
“I remember feeling this huge, heavy, hard impact… I looked down at my body and it was like something from a war movie,” he says. “The pain was unlike anything I’ve experienced before – it was shocking.”
Luke’s injuries were devastating, and he was losing blood quickly. He was immediately rushed to The Alfred in a helicopter. After extensive and complex surgery by Alfred emergency clinicians, Luke’s life was saved.
Against all odds, Luke not only survived the accident, but has now progressed to the rehabilitation phase of his care. His recovery is testament to the exceptional, specialised care and attention he received by The Alfred’s trauma clinicians.
Luke is thankful for the compassion, dedication and expertise that The Alfred staff members displayed throughout his treatment and ongoing recovery.
“It was really incredible, just the way they took care of me and did everything for me. The medical support I’ve received at The Alfred has been brilliant,” he says.
“I just have to keep getting a little better every day. At the moment my whole focus is on today and living in the moment. But I’m really hoping to be able to spend Father’s Day with Alfie. Perhaps go to a footy game together, or take him somewhere he likes to eat for dinner. I think that would be pretty special.”