Occupational therapists: You can be the starter motor in the patient’s brain

Thank you, all you 3rd year OT students
at Curtin University, Perth

Well, I just got home after talking to a large group of occupational therapy students and their teacher, Zona who set things going by interviewing me about my experiences with locked-in syndrome.

And what a warm welcome I had! I know the students have been following my blog, so this is for them really, all 100 girls ‘n’ one lad!! He’s one smart guy ey! Free career advice to all you likely lads out there!!! OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY!! (Stay focused Pete!)

Ok, what I really wanted to say is “Thank you” for following my story ‘n’ myself. I hope you can become amazing OTs out there and that you’ll remember what I said:

Connect first, forge the bond, find out what makes that person tick, find out WHO THEY ARE!! Then you can start to work together.  If you don’t get to know them, they may not want to move forward, but I‘m sure you’ll do whatever it takes to gain the patient’s trust.

So, good luck, you’re ready to help – only they may not be ready BE HELPED! Not yet. Accepting what has been thrust upon them is so big you’ll never fully understand – but a good OT, I feel, must be able to read people first and connect with them.

I was a little blown away at seeing you all – never seen so many smiling young girls in my life! Wow! I am sooooo jealous of that guy! Damn! Damn! Damn! Dad, why didn’t you tell me to be an OT?!! Hahaha.

After the nerves settled I was better and thankfully Zona helped me through, otherwise there was no way I could have stood up in front of 100 pretty faces. That was big!!

One girl at the end of the session was a bit emotional (Vanessa, I think her name was). I guess following my story then meeting was a bit too much for anyone with compassion, but I hope my visit helped in some way.

Thanks also for the messages. I’m gonna read them now, probably cry too! That was big for me and I feel like I may have helped, maybe change a few ways of thinking out in your field.

When you’re on the ground, make that difference ‘cos for the next 30 years or so you are gonna change the world! Help thousands. You have the hope in your hands. You can make all the difference. You will be the starter motor in the patient’s brain. You give them the will to move forward…..

It’s so massive you have no idea! All you therapists or nurses have no idea just how much you touch us!

Really proud of you! Wonderful to meet you and thanks once again for your interest.  I won’t forget that in a hurry!

Pete x

(And a handshake to that guy! You’re the cleverest bloke I know, Hahaha)

Thanks Zona x


11 thoughts on “Occupational therapists: You can be the starter motor in the patient’s brain

  1. Thank you so much for coming in yesterday Pete and giving your advice. I’m sure myself and everyone is the lecture will take that information on board. You’re an inspiration to us all and I have enjoyed reading through your website. All the best

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Pete!
    I was one of the OT students in the lecture from Friday. I just want to say a huge thank you for coming into uni to meet all of us and share your story. Your motivation, courage and strength truly inspires me and it is people like you that continue to add to my dream of changing peoples lives through OT. I have taken on board the tips you have shared with us to be the best OTs we can.
    Thank you again Pete and all the very best for the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks grace
      And any student that Coment on my blog
      Please feel free to contact me in the future , at some point in your career you may just need help changing the odds arround
      If I can come and change a persons attitude for you , I will
      I want to help my city ( perth any way I can )
      You guys were all great
      No tomatoes thrown at me just lots of pretty smiles , your gonna be great
      Good luck 👍


  3. Pingback: First Impressions Matter | Lizzy Chessell

    • Thankyou for your blog
      Very well written and helpful
      I am so glad my story can help
      Patients and OTs out there
      Even in the smallest way
      Comunication is great
      I haven’t trained to be an ot
      But living it
      I think I can say little things to help improve , hope that’s ok
      I want the next poor sod to just not have the same frustrations
      Thankyou ever so much OTs everywhere 👍👍👍👍


  4. Hi Pete,
    I was at the lecture on Friday, and I just wanted to thank you for coming in and sharing your knowledge and insight with us! You really helped me fully grasp the concept of what an OT really is and how important building rapport is. What you had shared really sunk in with me, you truly are an inspiration – changing the lives of all kinds of people.
    All the best for the future and keep moving forward!


  5. Hi Pete,
    I was one of the OT students at the lecture a few weeks back. Would also like to thank you once again for sharing your story with us all. I think you truly emphasized the significance of creating that good rapport through listening with our clients in the future which I definitely think is a lesson none of us will forget!
    We spoke after the lecture about someone I work with who has also had a brainstem stroke too and you told me to flick you a message so that I may be able to put you in contact with him or maybe you could put him in contact with others who have similar experiences to him. Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back to you but I have been bogged down with assignments and tests and had to wait to talk to him to see if he would like that idea which he would. I was wondering if there are any other ways of contacting you that would make it easier? Otherwise, happy to contact through here if that is most convenient for yourself 🙂


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