Fighting to get back on her feet

23 Jul 2018
Kate used her painful experience and turned it into a short film that other people can understand and identify with. Times photo Wayne Martin.

Kate Hatley’s short film `From a Hospital Bed’ captures hitting rock bottom after falling off a skateboard….to struggling to walk again after two years.

A fall from a skateboard changed Kate Hatley’s life forever.

She didn’t think much of it initially but four to five weeks later, the Botany Downs Secondary College student realised that something was drastically wrong.

Kate was diagnosed with a disorder of the central nervous system. She suffered from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome characterised by intense pain, fatigue and disability.

“I lost the ability to stand and walk, making it necessary for me to use a wheelchair for the following two years,” says the 16-year-old.

The accident happened in October 2015 and she still hasn’t fully recovered.

“My journey has been incredibly challenging. I was hospitalised for five months and had intensive rehab. It was hard for me to keep going as I was in a wheel chair till January 2018.

“In March 2017 I fell out of my wheelchair and had to be hospitalised again.”

Kate hit rock bottom when she went back to hospital.

“I was jealous of people leading normal lives…the last two years of my life were just lost.

“It’s an extremely hard place to be in and to overcome something like that involves a huge change of mindset and attitude.”

It took a long time for Kate to get out of the dark hole but sitting in her hospital bed one day, she made up her mind that she had to keep going.

“I decided to use my experience and turn it into something that other people can understand.”

A media student who hopes to become a journalist someday, she made a short film `Lessons from a Hospital Bed’ and has entered the four-minute-20-second film in the Focus on Ability 2018 Short Film Festival.

The international festival asks filmmakers to focus on the abilities of people with disabilities and tell a story.

“The character, Alex is based on some of my experiences from the time I was first admitted to hospital to when I regained independent mobility. Although my journey has been harrowing, I am grateful for the lessons I have learnt,” says Kate.

“Through the incredibly difficult journey I have met some amazing people and learnt so much about life and myself.

“If not for this experience, I would not be who I am today. Through my film, I intend to provide insight into my journey with health and what it has taught me. I do hope people vote for my film,” she says.

Kate also hopes to convey that not all disabilities are visible.

Voting ended July 4.

˜ / Farida Master


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