Simon's personal story
Thursday, May 12, 2016
One in Three Campaign

On the 19th of June, 2012 shortly before 1am, my 2 1/2 year old boy woke with a wet nappy. Normally I would jump up and take care of him but the previous four nights, he had been sick with a gastro illness which took a minimum of ten nappies a night. I did 80% of these and was, understandably, buggered. I asked his mother to tend to him, to my surprise she agreed. I informed her that she would be required to go outside the cabin we were staying in to retrieve the baby wipes. Her reply was “Well fuck that, you can do it” I was already getting out of bed and murmured how I thought she was lazy.

As I reached the end of the little corridor to the front door, she came running at my back. This is somewhat ‘normal’ for her and had happened on several occasions previously, she would launch up and bite my trapezius muscle. I heard her coming so I turned and pushed her down to the floor pre-launch. This was also ‘normal’ by now. And proceeded to my vehicle to retrieve the baby wipes, did so and returned to the cabin. As I faced back out the door to close it, It was a glass sliding door of the type that are everywhere. I felt some really strange sensations in my shoulder and lower back. I turned around and instantly dropped like a bag of shit to my knees, I was in agony and was having difficulty breathing. I did not know what was happening or why?

I heard my ex start screeching and told her to turn the light on, which she did. I had sat up a bit and when the light came I noticed blood splashes on the floor in front of me. I remember thinking ‘oh shit, this is not going to end well’ Then the pain hit me full force and I pulled my shirt away from chest and saw ‘the little mouth’ smiling at me and I knew straight up it was a stab wound. I buckled again and went into shock. I am familiar with traumatic wounds and shock reactions having previously experienced them. The shock reaction is how your body tells you of the severity of your trauma. I had never experienced such a severe and intense shock reaction, that is when I started to become frightened. Up til then I just thought ' Well I'm definitely gunna need a bloody doctor this time'.

She got off the phone to her mother and asked me if I wanted an ambulance, to which I replied “YES!”. I realised that I was losing blood faster than was good. I got to my feet and kneeled with my head on my elbow on a small couch that was there, my other hand was covering my front wound in an attempt to put pressure on it. I concentrated on slowing my breathing to get my heart rate down and slow the loss of blood. I knew somehow that I needed to stay conscious and put everything into breathing slow and deep as I could and keeping my wits about me.

I found out later it took the Ambos 25 minutes to get there, due to the rural setting. (Tongala Caravan Park, Victoria) Alas, due to high winds I missed out on a free helicopter ride! I remember thinking ‘I wonder how long it has been’ and suddenly the door was thrown open and a voice yelled " Where's the knife? Where's the knife? " and a Victorian Copper literally leaped inside the door. As soon as I saw him, I knew the Ambos would be right behind him and I just let go. Then I remember being on a guerney being wheeled out the door and hearing a voice say “OMG look at how far up the blade the blood goes!” I remember the ambulance was definitely low flying because of the almighty hits that made me stir in transit, I was, after all, in a critical condition due the knife penetrating my liver and gall bladder.

I remember being in a bright white place and hearing girls talking, then someone cut my tank top off. I was mortified because my oldest boy had bought it for me for christmas. Then I woke up in the white place and started to choke due to the life support, a voice told me to stay calm and the tube was slowly removed from my throat. Once I could breathe OK, I opened my eyes and rejoined the land of the living. I was in the ICU, at the wonderful Goulburn Valley Base Hospital in Shepparton. The staff are miracle workers. Upon arrival I was immediately taken for emergency surgery to save my life. This involved an emergency laparotomy. (They cut you open from your belly button to your sternum, take your guts out and stack them on your belly, inspect and repair any damage, put it all back and sow and staple your tummy back together).

By this time over a litre and a half of blood had collected inside me and was removed, that is on top of the copious amount of blood which I had already lost in the preceeding time. Due to the massive blood loss I was not expected to survive the night and Homicide Detectives were informed of a pending job. I spent about 2 or 3 days in the ICU. No-one told Mum or Dad, I did this from my hospital bed, they did not recognise my voice. I was transferred to a surgical ward and put on hourly observation. I was being given Ketamine and Morphine for pain and a cocktail of other pills for various reasons. I had a tube in each side of my belly to drain the blood and bile out of upper abdomen. I was on oxygen and was catheterised and canulated in each arm. The canulas left scars, my ex has put in an affidavit since, that the scarring is from heavy illicit drug use!

After approximately a week, the bile leakage into my upper abdomen was up to a litre a day, I went into tachycardia (Resting heart rate of 180 bpm) and my right lung partially collapsed (very painful). I am unaware if it contributed but this was also the day that a nurse failed to do the obs because she had judged me to be a woman basher. I underwent a second laparotomy to fix the bile leak issue, they also removed my gall bladder and appendix. Unfortunately, this did not affect the amount of bile leakage and I was transferred to Box Hill Hospital.

As I was wheeled into the ICU at Box Hill, I was met at the door by a young male doctor, this was encouraging until he said “So tell me mate, we're all curious, did you deserve it or is she just a crazy bitch?” I was stunned. I am unable to recall my reply to, what was, one of the most offensive questions that I had EVER been asked. I don't think it would have been good.

The other staff were great and managed to stabilise my condition enough for an ERCP and sphincterotomy (not THAT sphincter!) They inserted a stent in my liver, which fixed the bile leak. I spent several days more at Box Hill, during which Mum turned up. She jumped in her car and drove to Melbourne from the Gold Coast by herself at 63 years of age! What a woman! I was transferred back to G.V.B.H and a little under a week later was discharged with 28 metal staples and uncounted stitches in my belly.

I had not seen the kids in all this time. The Department of (In)Human Services had taken the kids from their mother's custody and they were in foster care. I was forced to have supervised access to them for the next three months due to their mother and grandmother lying to DHS about myself being a violent, mentally ill, drug addicted, alcoholic woman and child abuser. This was accepted with very little evidence by DHS and I was never given one chance to tell my side of the story.

I have been treated like a criminal since then. The kids' mother has made my life hell since because she has not spent a single day in jail and DHS gave the kids to her, so she has used them against me whenever she can. She was given a 1 year community corrections order for her crime of Intentionally causing Serious Injury. This was successfully Appealed by the Office of Public Prosecutions, on the grounds of Manifestly Inadequite Sentence. She was re-sentenced to 100 hours of community service and a 3 year community corrections order. Apparently she was remorseful.

She told me that she wishes she had have killed me because then I wouldn't be here trying to steal her children. To see my second son (who was the only witness to the stabbing) I am forced to travel through the town I was stabbed in. He is a little champion, who comforted me by patting my head as I lay bleeding to death. My youngest son ( Who was in utero at the time) has been kept from me ( along with my beautiful stepkids, now 12 and 10) and is being taught to call the drug addict who his mother started sleeping with while I was still in hospital, Dad. This bloke is on the court orders, he is to have no contact with the children. According to her they are just friends. He lives with them and she has had another child (6 months old) with him.

All that she has done to me has served to make me a stronger and better person in the long run. My only concern is the welfare of my little boys. I have been a single dad to my oldest son (13) since he was eight months old. I am more than capable of bringing these boys up to be good men, I fear they way they will otherwise turn out in the angry house they live in. Please share this story with everyone you can, I cannot bear to think that my sons (and yours) would be treated like this one day.

Article originally appeared on One in Three Campaign (http://www.oneinthree.com.au/).
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