Susan’s Series Of ‘Inspiring People’:
“I’m Going To Walk This Track One Day … !”
What do you do when life throws something completely unexpected at you? That’s a question Yarrabilba resident Maxine has been answering for the past ten years. One morning in 2010 Maxine was having a coffee before she got ready for work. What Maxine didn’t know that day was that an aneurysm was about to burst, bleed into her brain and totally change her life. The next time she was aware of anything was when she woke up from a coma six weeks later in hospital.
Maxine was close to death and in fact says she did die but was sent back. While in hospital and rehabilitation, she had to learn to walk and talk again. She often felt like giving up and wondered why she was still alive. But her will to live grew stronger. One day a friend took her out in a wheelchair and wheeled her around Burleigh headland. Maxine said to her friend, “I’m going to walk this track one day”.
It seemed impossible. But months later she did, with the help of a cane. Not only that, but Maxine also remarkably walked down the aisle at her daughter’s wedding, and danced at an aunt’s birthday party.
A sense of fun shines out of Maxine’s bright blue eyes. But it wasn’t always that way. She says she was a serious workaholic before her coma. Now, she surrounds herself with bright, colourful objects that make her smile.
Though it would be easier to sit at home watching TV all day, Maxine goes out on “Priscilla”, her mobility scooter, to pick up litter. She says she is on “a Mission from God” to help clean up the streets around her. Some people stop and tell Maxine they appreciate what she’s doing. She wishes Council would pay her for cleaning up the streets but is happy to have a purpose for her days.
Nothing has been easy since the brain aneurysm changed everything. But Maxine makes the most of what she has rather than complaining about what she has lost. She also gives something back to the community from the seat of her colourful mobility scooter.
Maxine is one of Yarrabilba’s inspiring people!
By Susan Alexander
(Inspirational Writer & Local Resident)