A slow road to heal­ing

The Star Late Edition - - FRONT PAGE - TEBOGO MONAMA tebogo.monama@inl.co.za

TWO YEARS ago, on his 20th birth­day, Bryce Car­lin­sky woke up from a coma af­ter the taxi he was trav­el­ling in was crushed by a col­lapsed M1 bridge.

He had to go through months of in­tense phys­i­cal ther­apy to re­gain the abil­ity to walk af­ter he was hit by the de­bris from the col­lapsed bridge.

The ac­ci­dent hap­pened six days be­fore his birth­day. To cel­e­brate his birth­day this year, he wants to for­get all about the ac­ci­dent for a few hours.

“To cel­e­brate this year, I am go­ing to the Mi­gos con­cert to for­get about the ac­ci­dent. I just want to have fun,” he said.

Car­lin­sky, who lives in Auck­land Park, went back to work a few months af­ter be­ing dis­charged from hos­pi­tal but his body is still heal­ing from the trauma he suf­fered when he was trapped in the front seat of the taxi.

As he could not cope with his work­load any more, Car­lin­sky now works only four hours a day in­stead of eight. “I wanted to re­sign but I just had to en­dure. I need to work.”

Now, he doesn’t use taxis any­more and in­stead re­lies on his fam­ily mem­bers to drive him to work or uses a bus.

On his health, Car­lin­sky con­tracted pneu­mo­nia and a throat in­fec­tion when he got out of the in­duced coma, said he was feel­ing bet­ter phys­i­cally.

“I do have a lot of prob­lems when the weather gets cold. Even a sim­ple thing like flu af­fects me badly. Three weeks ago, I had bron­chi­tis from the pneu­mo­nia.”

Car­lin­sky still goes for phys­io­ther­apy and monthly check-ups. He also claims that Mur­ray & Roberts stopped pay­ing his med­i­cal ex­penses when he got a lawyer to speak to the com­pany on his be­half.

“He (the lawyer) just no­ti­fied Mur­ray & Roberts that he was my lawyer, and that is when the com­mu­ni­ca­tion from them stopped. I wasn’t su­ing them.

“My lawyer just told them that if they need to no­tify me of some­thing, they must no­tify him too,” he said, adding that he was strug­gling to pay his med­i­cal costs.

Mur­ray & Roberts ad­mits it stopped pay­ing his med­i­cal bills in June 2016. “The rea­son why we can­not pay Bryce’s med­i­cal bills any­more is that his lawyer has in­sti­tuted a le­gal claim against us.

“There­fore in law it will be in con­flict of this le­gal process if we are pro­vid­ing him with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for his med­i­cal bills while be­ing sued by the same per­son. The let­ter we re­ceived from his lawyer was not me­di­a­tion – it was a le­gal claim,” said Mur­ray & Roberts spokesper­son Ed Jardim.

Jardim added that the com­pany also wants the hear­ing to be con­cluded as soon as pos­si­ble.

“The Mur­ray & Roberts board is dis­ap­pointed by the slow pace that is de­lay­ing clo­sure of this dis­tress­ing in­ci­dent for all the par­ties in­volved,” he said.

Car­lin­sky is also un­happy with the slow pace of the hear­ing. “I am very dis­ap­pointed and con­cerned that it is tak­ing too long. They are try­ing to make peo­ple for­get about what hap­pened.”

Re­gard­ing the sec­ond an­niver­sary of the ac­ci­dent, Car­lin­sky said he was just thank­ful to be alive.

“I want this to be re­solved as soon as pos­si­ble. I think about the peo­ple who lost their lives dur­ing that trau­matic time. We need to do more to make sure they get jus­tice,” he added.

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