Patient turns pain into dream job

Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals’ physiotherapist Matthew Daniel.

A debilitating condition affecting Matthew Daniel’s ability to walk was the trigger that inspired him to pursue a career in physiotherapy.

Matthew’s muscles were under attack by a condition known as Guillain-barré syndrome – a rare but serious disorder that affects the nervous system.

Until he was 16, he was cared for by the physiotherapy department at Mount Druitt as a patient.

Today, he has completed a student placement at Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals, helping others manage conditions just like his.

“I was unable to walk or move my left lower side, I was devastated,” Matthew said.

“At the time I thought it was the result of a head injury from hitting my head when jumping into a swimming pool.

“My doctor referred me to the physiotherapy department at Mount Druitt Hospital for treatment.

“Intense physiotherapy and manipulation of my muscles and nerves helped cure me from this disabling condition.

“It was then that I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people who felt like I did.”

Matthew said patients felt comfortable confiding with him, which helps them heal, and that his real-life experience with his disease helps patients deal with both mental and physical challenges.

“I’m studying a Bachelor in Physiotherapy with Australia Catholic University and receiving hands-on training at Mount Druitt and Blacktown hospitals’ physiotherapy departments.

“I’m really looking forward to becoming a qualified physiotherapist.”

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