As an Occupational Therapist, Emma Parfitt sees every day the courage and determination of patients facing the challenges of rehabilitation after illness, accident, surgery or progressive disease.
Emma’s role as an OT is to help patients re-engage in the things that are important to them and help them reach their individual goals. It was as part of the rehab team that Emma met Ray, whose courage and strength inspired her to push herself to reach her own goals.
‘I met Ray in 2014, following a car accident that left him with life threatening injuries,’ Emma says. ‘I worked with Ray over the following 10 months and was inspired by the determination and commitment that he and his family had towards his recovery.
‘His story served as a great reminder to me that we all have potential, we are all capable of amazing things if we believe in ourselves and have a supportive team of people helping us.’
Inspired by Ray, Emma undertook a challenge that she had considered, but never believed was possible – to run a marathon.
‘I was not a runner! I am a mum of two young boys and part time OT,’ Emma says. ‘The first week I managed only 3km.’
However Emma committed to training for 12 months, the duration of time Ray spent in hospital, and since November 2015 Emma has run more than 580 kms.
On 6 November Emma will be running in the Marysville Marathon, a 42km course through eucalypt and fern forests, past waterfalls and up some very steep hills.
Emma is raising money to purchase a new Power Wheelchair for the rehab ward.
‘Like many of our patients, Ray had the opportunity to use a Power Wheelchair during his time in rehab. These wheelchairs provide a link to the outside world and give people back a sense of control and hope. Over and over again we see the positive impact access to Power Wheelchairs has on patients and their ability to stay motivated and positive about their therapy and progress.