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To whom it may concern:

February 24, 2009

My name is James Duncan. I am a tetraplegic (C5 C6). Before my accident I was an out-going man, worked 20 years on sheep and cattle farms, and during the holidays I would go shearing and crutching because I liked doing physical work. Then I moved to town and started working in forestry. I did planting, pruning, spraying trees, first thinning and second thinning. As you can see I was an outdoor man when I had my accident.

Through my accident I was introduced to a computer which I was not interested in at all. The reason for this was due to the fact I couldn’t type any letters and I didn’t know how to work the computer. Therefore the computer held no appeal. When I got the computer all I would do was play games and even then my wife had to find ones that only used the mouse. Also I suffer from tendonitis so that caused a lot of pain in my wrists. I was not a happy chappy. Until I met this nice lady who is my occupational therapist. She has sorted out all my problems with patience and perseverance, in how to gain some of my independence back, with getting the maximum benefit from having a computer and headset telephone. I was introduced to Dragon NaturallySpeaking, on-screen keyboard for typing, doing my own e-mails, writing letters, doing computer studies, also a correspondence course using the computer and scanner to fill in the booklets provided, plus I can answer my own phone and have a private conversation. I also went from dial-up to broadband as I now use my computer so much due to the fact of being introduced to Skype by my OT.  I do conference calls with my two sisters (one in Australia and one in Hastings), plus I add to the mix my best mate who also has a spinal cord injury in Paeroa. We don’t miss a day and it is cheaper (so my wife tells me). My wife had to buy herself a laptop because I would not share my computer with her because I was on it every day and all day

I’m on my computer by 9am in the morning and have to go to bed (sometimes get kicked off) at 10.30pm or 1am. So you can say that this old skeptic is now a modern technology addict.
I am thanking my occupational therapist who introduced me to all my equipment and for her patience, knowledge and helpful guidance.  Without my occupational therapist I wouldn’t be where I am at today, due to the computer and phone. This has brought happiness where I didn’t know I would find some and made me get out in the world again.

Thank you
Jimbo

Permanent link to this article: https://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2010/08/26/to-whom-it-may-concern/

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