Making a difference - Oz update :)

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Many here have been following the very sad story of our lighting & crew member, Oz. He suffered a ruptured aorta about 18 months ago. After 8 months in ICU, He survived (most don't), but he's been left paralysed from the chest down. He has multiple challenges, but a big one is living with artificially maintained reduced blood pressure. This means he has to lie down regularly, & up until now, that's entailed carers putting him to bed several times a day. This places even more limitations on his life & ability to make his own decisions.

Anyhow, we (the band, Fired Up) organised a live music benefit for Oz several months ago, & managed to raise a good portion of the money necessary to buy this very special chair. They're "F" expensive, but this really has changed his life around. Oz received his chair today (took a while - needs to be made especially for him), & here he is proudly showing it off.

Music making a difference in such a positive way = feels so damn good!
 

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Red Menace

Platinum Member
Go Oz! Now someone needs to fix him up American style and make some fancy chrome hubcaps for those wheels. He'll be the coolest cat since Tom Jones.
 

Derek

Silver Member
Andy, I can't exactly come up with the words; that's some of the best kind of use for playing live music - helping out someone like that. Very touching.

And now, like Red said, pimp out them wheels!
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Thats pretty damn awesome, Andy! And, holy hell is that one kick ass chair! Forget pimping the wheels, get some neons on that thing, buy some scaffolding and mount stage lights to it and the guy is back in the lighting business. Name another band that has a mobile lighting unit.

You heard it here first. Mobile lighting rig.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Andy this is just one more reason why you can never get off my most respected list. Oz is lucky in more ways than one.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks guys :)

Oz has many friends because he's a genuinely warm guy. What goes around, comes around - never forget that! Helping Oz was / is an automatic reaction. It's not something you have to even contemplate - you just do it.

As for "bling", I'm not so sure, but the mobile lighting rig concept is pretty damn cool :) Unfortunately, Oz is often too unwell to travel from his home. He's always excited to attend a Fired Up gig, but sometimes can't make it. We always make special arrangements to make that happen, but Oz can't travel in a normal vehicle. When he does manage to attend though, he loves it. It's a massive social for him in an otherwise very challenging life routine.

I've attached a picture of the chair in a raised position. This enables him to be "part of the conversation" when he can travel out, instead of being "that guy down there". A small point, but an important one. I've also attached a photo of Oz crewing at one of our gigs a few days prior to his terrible experience beginning.
 

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Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Hell yeah! Andy, that's awesome. Seeing this has actually brought a couple tears to my eyes. I'm so glad to see people helping each other like this, and that your friend survived his ordeal.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Well done mate. You're a great bloke and I'm so glad Oz has friends around like yourself to support him. The chair supports him too mind...
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Andy, Oz is a very blessed man indeed-very fortunate to survive an aortic rupture. What's the prognosis of neural activity returning? I have a friend who tripped over a root in his front yard and broke his neck. It's been two years and he just commented he has over 200 miles on his wheelchair-he also has to lie flat for blood pressure issues. He couldn't do anything and is still dependent on others but now he can sit up, presses 150 lbs with his legs-though he can't walk, and he can feed himself now. They still say he can gain function-it has been slow but I am amazed how much he has progressed. I think about my friend often when I'm complaining and feeling sorry for myself and then think about his day. All the equipment and chairs are very expensive.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
Thanks for posting this - made my day. Things could be better, but look at the smile on the guy's face. Let's hope there is a chance for some recovery, but if not he has the best friends a man can get.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
A month or so ago I ran into a friend from some thirty year hiatus. He was telling me he had an aortic aneurysm and I asked him when he was going to get it fixed. He stated he was in no hurry. I chastened him with this analogy. You know how difficult it is to start blowing up a new balloon. Really hard to get it started but as you blow it gets easier-I said your aorta is doing the same and if it ruptures you likely will not survive. Within a month he had surgery my brother told me.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks again guys, although there's little to thank me for really. You do what you do, & help people who are a pleasure to help. It's a two way win win.

As for Oz's chances of spinal function recovery, unfortunately, that's not a possibility with current technology / expertise. His spine was starved of blood supply, & effectively died from the heart down. He is lucky to be alive. Most who suffer a ruptured aorta never make it to the hospital alive, & the few that do, rarely survive. It's one of the really big health bombs.

I will say this, Oz's overall attitude & continued self motivation is just mind-blowingly inspiring. I've been in a dark place on a couple of occasions myself, but nothing on this scale. How he lives with his daily challenges, yet keeps such a positive outlook, is beyond me.
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
I'd been going to ask how Oz was doing, but I know now. I can't bear to imagine how he must feel an awful lot of the time, but I can't think of anything that would help more than knowing how much his friends care about him.

A good job well done, I say.
 
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