In 2017, Mark Both’s car hit a stobie pole at high speed. He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition, and underwent emergency surgery in the intensive care unit.

Mark sustained a serious acquired brain injury resulting in cognitive and physical challenges. He was also left with partial hand and thumb amputations, and orthopaedic injuries. Mark spent over 3 months in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre.

The LSA have funded Mark’s treatment, care and support including rehabilitation, speech therapy, attendant carers for personal care and access to the community, home modifications, and a prosthetic hand.

Mark has also been supported on his journey to recovery by Buddy, his very special service dog who helps with mobility and his struggles with anxiety. Mark’s love of dogs prompted him to study to become a dog trainer and start his own business.

Mark trained Buddy at a company called ABT dog training. They trained all year and at night Mark was doing a dog psychology course and a Certificate 3 in training as well. It was a big day of celebrations when Buddy passed his service dog training with flying colours!

Mark is now a registered golden retriever breeder and also a trainer who plans to train service dogs for people in need.

“I want to fully focus and learn now, so that when I do the next training course I can teach the dogs the full range of skills to help other people the way Buddy has helped me. I'm just so excited to be able to do it and so lucky that I've found my thing,” he says.