Having their beautiful toddler struck down by a car is every parents worst nightmare. For Emma Christian-Hayes, this horror became a reality in December 2013.
Thanks to the efforts of a full medical team, as well as the support of her family and the amazing fighting spirit her three year old child, Emma didn’t lose her son. But his recovery is a long process, and he will most likely require physiotherapy for the rest of his life.
Proactive, full of hope and determined to do all that she can to help him, Emma enrolled in Open Colleges’ Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance specialising in Physiotherapy.
Just over a year later, her son is thriving and Emma has a new plan for her life.
“The course has definitely changed my life a lot,” she said.
“It’s fascinating – understanding the body and how it all works. I’m enjoying learning more and more about physiotherapy to try and help my son.
“You have to put the two together: like what I’m learning about body parts and how his injury came about and what could have happened,” she added.
Flexibility is the key
Emma started the course a little over a year ago, whilst at home caring for her little boy, and in just over 12 months has nearly completed the course.
“Because it’s so flexible, it was easy for me to do it” she said.
“I’ll be in the middle of an assignment and I can just pause it if my son is asking for lunch. I’ll quickly make him lunch or get a drink and I can just open it back up and go straight back into it to continue. It’s good like that.” she added.
Giving tips to the experts!
With her main focus on the recovery of her little boy, Emma said that her course has helped her take more ownership of her son’s physiotherapy care.
“It’s taught me a lot,” she said.
“Even the Physiotherapist at the hospital that we deal with, I feel like I can kind of give her tips and pointers and she’s like ‘oh that’s a really good idea, keep doing that!’”.
“He’s really good, right now he’s riding his scooter,” she added with a smile.
Learning in an online world
Used to a face-to-face learning style, Emma said that starting online study was an adjustment and a little different to what she knew.
“I’ve only studied HSC and TAFE face-to-face,” she said, adding “but the trainers have been great. They really try to get back to you on time and make sure they give you the best possible answers”.
“They always seem to come back with a quick response. So, it’s been good,” she said.
The future looks bright!
Due to finish her course in the next few months Emma is excited by her future plans, which include using her Certificate as a launch pad into university to become a Physiotherapist.
“I want to specialise in children’s physiotherapy,” Emma said, emphasising her desire to help other children and their parents.
“I want to see outpatients, that’s where my son was.
“It’s so busy, you’ve got all these different kids and you have to be on the ball all the time – you’re always on your feet,” she added.