Peter Eaton is a retired entrepreneur and company director. In May 2019, he was eagerly preparing for a holiday to Africa.

Just seven days before his scheduled departure, Peter was doing a favour as a licenced forklift driver. Peter was relocating the forklift when it tipped over and landed on top of his legs where he remained trapped for 1.5 hours.

Photo caption: From left Peter Eaton, Stan, Rossie, Dick, and travel guide George in Tanzania.

Peter recalls his initial reaction following the accident, ‘well there goes my trip to Africa!’

Peter lost his right leg and became a below knee amputee.

Peter resolved to get on with life despite his injury, ‘I never let it hold me back, although it might slow me down.’

An important part of the recovery process was setting goals. With the Africa trip off the table, Peter set his sights on a planned trip to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory to visit an Aboriginal community.

The LSA helped Peter get his licence back and modify his motor home and car.

‘I was back walking and able to drive 7,000 kilometres to the community in the three months and a few days’ after my accident. I was so appreciative of the LSA helping me to achieve this goal.’

Peter’s rehabilitation journey was not always smooth sailing. He had multiple issues with his prosthesis fitting properly and had to modify prosthetics so he could walk properly. Peter recalls, ‘the LSA bent over backwards to help me.’

Through his difficulties, Peter identified issues that could be improved with service providers.

Driven by a desire to help fix these issues, Peter joined the Participant Reference Group (PRG) in 2019. The PRG provides LSS Participants with an opportunity to provide feedback to the LSA and influence the ways the LSS services are delivered. Peter utilised his business acumen to share insights, implement solutions and improve services for other participants.

Three years following the accident, Peter was once again eagerly planning his holiday to Africa. He was talking to a friend, Dick, who had been in a wheelchair since a motor vehicle accident 37 years ago. Dick didn’t think he could travel overseas, let alone Africa because of his injury.

Peter considered this and then asked Dick and his partner to join him on his trip. Peter spoke to a tour company to ensure modifications were in place to accommodate his prosthetic and Dick’s wheelchair.

After much preparation, Peter finally achieved his goal and made it to Africa. He spent six weeks in Tanzania visiting the Serengeti and encountering countless wild animals including lions, hippos, elephants, and zebras.

At the end of the trip, Peter visited Mount Kilimanjaro where he was driven up to 2,000 metres. Peter was determined to reach a height greater than Australia’s tallest mountain. After a gruelling four-hour hike, Peter reached 2,400m, higher than Mount Kosciuszko.

Despite this achievement, Peter still says the highlight of his time in Africa was ‘to see Dick having so much fun and enjoying the trip.’

Peter plans to continue travelling and drawing upon his experience to help others. Next, he wants to share his insights with the medical industry.