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Uncle Ronald Grose

The late Uncle Ronald Grose

Uncle Ronald Grose was born in 1929 in Moree on the banks of the river. He was the youngest of 11 children and had many children and grandchildren of his own, before he passed away in 2022.

Uncle Ronald nearly lost his leg as a boy while he was mucking about climbing trams. He was lucky that time, and had an active life as a labourer, shearer, on the wharves and playing AFL. In his later years, he lived independently in Revesby with his son.

Uncle Ronald was in good health all his life, apart from diabetes. In February 2020, he nicked his toe while cutting his nails and after many weeks of trying to save his leg, had an amputation below the knee in September 2020. He was worried at first about being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but learnt a lot from a month of rehabilitation. Although Uncle Ronald has since passed away, he wanted to ensure his story was told.

What Uncle Ronald learnt from his time in rehab

  • You get everything you need.
  • You can bring in stuff from home – like a favourite woolen blanket.
  • You can get back on your feet.
  • You can get your independence and confidence back.
  • You can learn to walk with a new leg.
  • You can go back home.
  • The physiotherapist gave Uncle Ronald lots of exercises, weights, balance stuff and help with walking on his new leg. “They push you, but I see improvement day by day,” he said. “I started doing one lap and now I’m up to seven, and ready to go home.”
  • The nurses are “so kind”. They encourage you to do things for yourself each day.
  • The occupational therapist gives tips on dressing and showering, and checks out your home for safety.
  • The doctors keep an eye on your progress and make sure you are on the right medications.
  • The social worker and the Aboriginal liaison officer come around just for a yarn or to help plan to go home.

He recalled the following about his rehabilitation team

“I’m looking forward to going home. I’ll be followed up by the Chronic Care for Aboriginal people team to make sure I’m getting on okay on my own. I have also been linked with transport and home nursing services.”

Top tip for the rehab team: "Speak slowly and repeat."

Tips for other Aboriginal people

  • “You have to work hard to get better, there’s no other way.”
  • “The gym is great to see everyone working to get better.”
  • “Some days you just feel tired, but you still gotta get on with it and it’s for the best.”
  • “Make sure you follow up on all your appointments.”

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