Cam Dunne's will to walk again after freak footy injury

Cameron Dunne at the Royal Melbourne Hospital with trauma nurse Bridget and mum Sharyn. PICTURE: SHAWN SMITS

Cameron Dunne at the Royal Melbourne Hospital with trauma nurse Bridget and mum Sharyn. PICTURE: SHAWN SMITS

CAMERON Dunne feared he would never walk again after a freak football accident last Saturday.

The 20-year-old remains under constant care in the Royal Melbourne Hospital but is on the mend following the incident that left him with a severe spinal injury.

Mr Dunne was taken to hospital in an ambulance after the fourth-quarter mishap in Dunnstown’s reserves clash with Springbank in the Central Highlands Football League.

The game did not restart after Dunne was knocked unconscious and carried from the Wallace oval.

The third-year apprentice electrician spoke to The Courier from hospital yesterday and said it had already been a long and difficult road to recovery.

“It’s very frustrating knowing pretty much that I have to learn how to walk again"

“It’s very frustrating knowing pretty much that I have to learn how to walk again.

“I’ve lost all feeling in my legs,” Mr Dunne said.

“I’ve had a lot of people around, a lot of visitors and they have been really good. They have cheered me up and the days are going by.

“(My legs) work but if you punched me in the leg, I wouldn’t be able to feel it.

“Sometimes when I walk, I sort of have to look at my legs to get them to work, so it’s very frustrating, but we are getting there.” 

Cameron with mum Sharyn, Bianca Leonard and sister Alison. PICTURE: SHAWN SMITS

Cameron with mum Sharyn, Bianca Leonard and sister Alison. PICTURE: SHAWN SMITS

Mr Dunne admitted he let his mind wander just after the incident.

“When I first had the feeling that I couldn’t feel my legs, I was a little bit worried and didn’t really sleep much that night, worrying about if I was ever going to walk again,” said Mr Dunne, who also has short-term memory loss following the concussion.

“But the doctors seem to think the feeling could come back in the next week or it could take a few months. It’s just a matter of time, waiting and being patient, I guess.”

Mr Dunne joked about a return for Dunnstown before finals, but conceded doctors’ advice had put an end to his football aspirations.

"You don’t expect to go out on the footy ground and come back and end up in hospital"

“You don’t expect to go out on the footy ground and come back and end up in hospital for a long time, but there’s always someone out there that is worse off and it could be worse,” he said.

Mr Dunne’s mother, Sharyn, who lives with her son in Ballan, said the support from friends and family had been “absolutely amazing”.

“Everyone has offered in any way to help.

“I can’t speak of the club more highly,” she said.

The family wished especially to thank Dunnstown president Mark Mullane, Springbank head trainer Andrea McMahon, who helped prepare Mr Dunne for hospital, and Towners netballer Bianca Leonard, who travelled to Melbourne in the ambulance.

tim.oconnnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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