Lindsay Nott’s motto is “improvise, adapt and overcome”. This mantra has driven Lindsay to achieve some incredible goals and develop a positive mindset for living with a spinal injury.
On the last day of grade 12, Lindsay went for a celebratory swim and broke his neck at vertebrae C5. Life after leaving the hospital was a big learning curve for Lindsay and his family. Every day since his accident, he has relied on carers, family, and friends to help him navigate the challenge of quadriplegia.
Now the keen traveller, disability advocate, mentor and public speaker is on a mission to share what he has learnt to help other people with spinal injuries, their families and carers.
Navigating life with a physical disability.
On his blog, My C5 Life, Lindsay shares his taste for adventure with stories about going surfing for the first time, flying internationally and swimming at Waikiki beach. His Facebook and Instagram accounts are full of exciting tales, along with tips for navigating life with a physical disability.
It can sometimes feel like it compromises your independence to ask for assistance from others but Lindsay says talking to other people and asking for help has allowed him to achieve his goals.
“I may be in a wheelchair but there are people around me who are willing to help. It all starts with a conversation. If I need some help or have an issue, I’ll just talk to someone,” he says.
Taking the plunge.
It is this frankness that’s resulted in Lindsay doing some amazing things. While in a hotel lift in Hawaii, Lindsay and his travel buddy Sarah sparked a conversation with a couple of Scottish guys from Melbourne. A few days later, they all worked together to help Lindsay take his first plunge into the ocean in decades.
[Image description: Lindsay is heading into the ocean in a beach wheelchair with the assistance of two men he met during his trip to Hawaii.]
“It was a huge effort getting the beach wheelchair across the sand and into the water, but teamwork was everything. It was the best feeling being smashed by the waves as they rolled into Waikiki beach and finally feeling saltwater on my skin. It was such a wonderful afternoon, and a great learning curve for the guys who helped and their families who watched on from the beach.”
Lindsay is a big believer in trying new things and finding creative ways to overcome barriers. He has recently taken up barbequing with a bit of help from his support worker and shares his “BBQ Tuesdays” on Instagram.
“My support worker gives me a hand. I cook what I can and have a bit of fun with it. I’ve learned new skills like turning the BBQ on, putting sausages and steak on and even barbequed an egg for the first time in 27 years! It’s all about trying something different and showing people it’s ok to have a go,” he said.
[Image description: Lindsay is sitting in a blue helicopter with his travel buddy Sarah.]
“How to” video series.
Lindsay works as a part-time administrator in the health care sector, in a varied role that includes reception, managing bookings, client liaison and organising events.
“The best part is when people call, they’re not aware I have a disability. It’s great because I am seen as an equal. It also breaks down the barriers and allows visitors to see that people with a disability can get out in the community and work. My workplace has been very supportive and encourages me to achieve my goals,” Lindsay said.
A powerful advocate for equality and accessibility, Lindsay created a series of practical videos, attracting a following from other people with a disability, support workers and health care professionals. He’s even been invited to speak to occupational therapy students at university, so they better understand the needs of future clients.
Check out some of Lindsay’s videos at the links below:
How to keep your neck warm during winter
Do you need a barman? Opening a can.
Envelope opening tips
Emptying your own drainage bag
Eating delivered pizza quad style
How to reheat a meal and grill garlic bread
Wheelchair care and maintenance (opens in Instagram).
Check out Lindsay’s Youtube channel for more videos.
Making the most of his NDIS Plan.
The NDIS has been life-changing for Lindsay, helping him to become more independent and do things he would not have done otherwise.
“The NDIS has been awesome for me. I’ve been able to try new activities which complement my everyday independence and help me achieve my goals. I’m a firm believer in ‘use it or lose it’ so I’m doing weights at the gym and had the opportunity to get back into the pool and do hydrotherapy which dovetails into the other activities I want to do,” he explains.
As a Leap in! Member, Lindsay says having a dedicated plan manager means he has support to get the most from his NDIS Plan.
“Leap in! is providing advice around maximising my plan to achieve the goals I’m working towards. It’s a lot of hard work to get your plan so you need to make the most of it. Having Leap in! to guide me through and provide that assistance gives me the confidence to go and do it.”
Lindsay says thinking outside the box, doing your research and making simple changes can be the key to living a more fulfilled life.
“When I was renovating, I thought about how the ‘old school’ outside tap meant I couldn’t water the garden when I was alone. I spoke to Dad and a plumber and installed a kitchen lever tap head on the outside tap. I can now water the gardens independently, without a support worker. That means I can use my care hours more productively,” Lindsay says.
“Sometimes, you might not be ready to take on advice but consider it as a seed planted that might grow into something later. Let people in. Ask the questions. Leap in! is a phone call away. Open up the conversation and the world is your oyster.”
Join Leap in! plan management today:
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