Josh Sayed

Young Veteran's unlikely weapon in long fight back

RSL Queensland 22 July 2019

A state-of-the-art therapy bed, funded by RSL Brisbane North District, is leading the counterattack in a young Queensland soldier’s brave battle back from the brink.

Josh Sayed, 24, was an Australian Army Private serving with 7th Combat Service Support Battalion at Gallipoli Barracks (Enoggera) when he was involved in a shocking car crash in April 2016.

Josh sustained severe brain injuries, a smashed pelvis and collarbone, and his family was told to prepare for the worst.

Countless surgeries followed; part of his skull was removed to relieve pressure from swelling. But Josh survived the odds.

Three years later, he remains confined to a wheelchair and has no pelvic, trunk or neck support. Josh is aware of his surroundings but is immobile and spends long periods in bed at a rehabilitation centre north of Brisbane.

 

Precious family time now possible

That’s where RSL Brisbane North District has stepped in, donating $32,000 to help Josh and his family buy a TotalCare Intensive Care Bed. Now Josh can go home on weekends for some precious family time.

His mum Sue Fayed said it’s important for Josh to spend time with his sisters and dog Max.

“When I’m out with Josh [at the rehabilitation centre], his sisters are at home while their father is at work; it’s been very hard to be together as a family,” Sue explained.

“I want to be with Josh to help with his physical care and so he knows how loved he is and that he is not alone.”

Sue said the high-tech bed’s versatile features allow her to move Josh and help him to rest easy.

“We want to give him the life he deserves and the life he should have had,” she said.

 

Josh is rebuilding his life

RSL Brisbane North District President Merv Brown said it was gratifying to help a young veteran and his family.

“That Josh is rebuilding his life after sustaining such terrible injuries says a great deal about the sort of man he is and the incredible support he is getting,” Merv said.

“Supporting veterans and their families is the sort of everyday work RSL Queensland has been doing for more than 100 years.”

Josh continues to defy his doctors, first communicating by blinking and now able to give a thumbs up or thumbs down. His progress, though slow, is an inspiration to those around him.

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