Below is a selection of Testimonials from some recent
Immersion TherapyTM Program attendees and Letters of Support from our dedicated SCUBA Instructors / Support personnel.
"A little about me During the end of 2013 i jumped into the river breaking my neck leaving myself wheel chair bound. I am a quadriplegic with very limited upper limb movement and complete paralysis from the chest down. Before the accident I was very independent and loved all sports but that was soon taken away from me. This injury comes with limitations that the 'norm' couldn't even comprehend but I won't bore you with that. Determined2 removes some of these limitations experienced on land in a wheelchair, underwater, in a weightless environment whilst giving therapeutic benefits. What I am trying to justify is that my level of injury has left me relatively 'disabled' so pretty much if I can be involved in D2 SCUBA experience anyone else can!! The programme has been simplified for people who need more assistance and also allows for more independent individuals to also be involved."
"The moment I received the email from DRS about the opportunity to take part in the Determined2's Controlled SCUBA Experience trials, I knew it was something amazing that I would love to take part in! I was not wrong, and in fact, it far exceeded my expectations of just how incredible it would be!
Right from a very young age I had loved the water. Being in it or on it, always made me happy. Growing up, I took part in many water related sports ranging from swimming and Surf Life Saving, right through to sailing. That all changed when I became ill with a rare autoimmune disease associated encephalopathy that resulted in cerebral paraparesis in my teenage years. My world as I knew it, was turned upside down. I went from being an independent, high performing student and athlete, to being confined to a wheelchair, and having to rely on others for some of the simplest of tasks.
There are many physical challenges and limitations I continue to experience in my day to day living as a result of having lost the function of my legs. Although I have been able to return to many of the activities I took part in prior to getting sick through programs such as Sail ability, wheelchair basketball and Para canoeing, which has played a major role in my recovery, there are usually some aspects of the sports and activities in which I recognize and am reminded of my physical limitations.
It was for the first time during my Controlled SCUBA Experience immersion therapy trial that this changed. Right from the first moment that I got under water, I felt free. The feeling of just being weightless, surrounded by water and being able to go anywhere and everywhere I desired was incredible. I was unstoppable.
During my first session, I exceeded my own expectations of my capabilities. I began just my making my way around the pool floor. This quickly became laps and races, rolling around and going through hoops. I would have never imagined being able to do somersaults, and yet, but the end of the session I was completing them independently! I am amazed at just how far I came! The Determined2 were incredible at finding ways to make things work for me in any way they could, completely individualizing the experience.
To me, immersion therapy with Determined2 is an incredible opportunity to explore one’s own capabilities and experience weightlessness, which for me is impossible to experience anywhere else, in a safe environment of very few limitations! It is not an activity that is not difficult to learn or implement and has so much potential to benefit so many people, regardless of their age or abilities in a therapeutic setting. I definitely recommend the Controlled SCUBA Experience to anyone that is up for a challenge and wanting to try something new! It is truly, such an incredible experience! "
Richard Davis Testimonial
"At the end of November 2014 I came off my motorbike landing on a rock and had anterior wedging on my T6 vertebrae, therefore putting pressure on my spinal cord and bruising it. I was taken to the RAH surgery where they inserted plates and screws in my spine to straighten. I also have a very small hole in my left lung and a small hole in my spleen, both of these where very minor. The lung they left to heal itself and the spleen they inserted a small spring to block the hole. I spent about a week in the RAH before being moved to Hampstead Rehab for the next 3 months. I was discharged at the start of March 2015.
As a result of the bruising and pressure on the spinal cord, I have been classed as medically complete T5 (my spinal cord is not broken). This means that I have sensation to approx. the belly button and some core muscle function to approx. T9. I have no voluntary use of my legs/lower limbs
Richard Davis and his Controlled SCUBA Experience
The experience of freedom is amazing, no restrictions on what you can do or where you can do. The fact I spend 90% of my time in a chair sitting and the rest laying down, to be able to just spread myself out and not be restricted is an awesome feeling. It is also relaxing and refreshing to just chill underwater, no real distractions you can just switch off from the everything and chill. Also I felt that my body was a bit more relaxed after, muscles a bit looser and no real tension that I occasionally get from sitting all the time.
Yourself and Brendan were great and I'm sure the other trainers are too. Making the experience very helpful and bit less stressful, checking on you, making sure you are making the most out of the experience."
Tim Maloney OAM, Testimonial
"I've been asked to give my opinions on Determine2's program on Controlled SCUBA Experience incorporating Immersion Therapy.
My disability is a Neuroblastoma on the spine which is a type of cancer from the age of 9 months, old I also have a right leg above knee amputation from when I was 11 years old, on top of that I have a right nephrectomy which means I have only one kidney and I've had various corrective surgeries from when I was a young child until recently with shoulder and elbow surgeries. I am now 48 years old .
My aquatic experience goes back to when I was a young child from a fun and a rehabilitation element where I was given a snorkel and mask with fins to exercise my lungs and my legs as much as possible. At approximately the age of 10, I was able to try on SCUBA gear in the North Adelaide Aquatic Centre (well before it had a roof) and I fell in love with it ever since.
In 1984 while in high school I got heavily involved in outdoor activities including kayaking canoeing and snorkelling and studied and received my open water divers certificate.
Water has given me lots of freedom over the years. The freedom to be with friends doing the same things that they are doing without limitations or boundaries that having a disability gives you.
One of the downsides is having the man/woman power to haul me and the gear around. So I stopped diving and went snorkelling instead because I could limit the amount of equipment I was using.
So for the first time in 30 years after all the surgeries and injuries I have the help to be free again in the water with Determined2 .
I don't have the words to tell you what it means to me ... but just know that when all else fails there is always water to be free in"
Andrew Carney (Instructor),
Letter of Support
"To whom it may concern 1st December 2015
I’ve been involved with Determined2 as a Master SCUBA Diver Trainer and Cert.IV workplace trainer and accessor from its inception, developing a Safe, enjoyable, rewarding program offering a ‘Controlled SCUBA Experience’ to the Handicapped/disabled or injured individuals.
Our Determined2 team is made up of both Professional SCUBA Trainers and volunteer’s, currently our team grows weekly as our exposure through social media and radio continues with more people wanting to be involved after seeing what we offer. We have also been approached by Individuals who can’t help physically however wish to help via donation and offer other services such as signage, websites and more.
I personally feel this program is unique in what is offers and plays without doubt a very important role in rehabilitation offering both mental stimulation and physical stimulation through ‘Immersion Therapy’ which is not only first of its kind in Adelaide but all of Australia and the world.
Our participants have given us overwhelming positive feedback and support for the program explaining to us and others how positive it is in removing barriers like the confines of a wheelchair and offering them freedom through Immersion therapy. I also strongly feel participants not confined to a wheelchair will find this type of therapy more stimulating and positive over all standard therapy, increasing participation rates and positive quicker results.
The clients who wish to participate is growing weekly and I see participation rates increase rapidly and support for the program not only increase but be in demand not just in Adelaide but around Australia and the world due to its current outcomes."
Master SCUBA Divers Trainer/Program development
Zoe Rodas (Instructor),
Letter of Support
"1 December 2015
To Whom It May Concern;
My name is Zoe Rodas and I am a PADI Divemaster who has been lucky enough to be involved in the Determined2 organisation.
My experience with the group in the Controlled SCUBA Experience pool sessions has been truly gratifying.
As PADI professionals, we share a love for SCUBA for so many reasons including the sense of peace, accomplishment, achievement and physical endurance that it brings to our lives.
To be able to share this on a weekly basis with our candidates and assist them to have freedom through weightlessness without the physical limitations that they encounter in day to day life is such a positive outcome.
This programme is providing opportunities and improvement of life experiences to the physically challenged that they may not otherwise have. The smiles, laughter and determination in the pool each week from these candidates is truly inspirational.
The candidate that I am currently working with, Jocelyn, is such an amazing woman who does not let her challenges stop her from being independent, strong, fit and a leader to others.
Each week she cannot wait to get in the water and excitement and happiness fills her face as soon as she moves around on SCUBA.
I would like to thank Peter Wilson for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful team. The passion that Peter has for the Controlled SCUBA Experience and the professional manner which he operates each session is exceptional.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss any part of the programme in further detail on 0421 707 176."
Brendan Thayer (Instructor),
Letter of Support
"I am currently a Master SCUBA Diver Trainer and have been teaching people to dive for four years. I have been working with Pete Wilson and Determined2 since the beginning of the Controlled SCUBA Experiences. I have taught many different people from many different parts of the world to dive and they have all had different levels of enjoyment. However nothing has compared to the people who have taken part in the Controlled SCUBA Experiences run by Determined2.
Their enjoyment has clearly come from doing something they had thought would not be possible. Even the people who have been diving in the past have gotten great enjoyment from being able to do an activity they had thought they would never be able to do again. Along with the positive experience and enjoyment, the benefits of the immersion theory have been clear from the beginning with participants like Ben finding greater comfort and mobility in weightless environment.
Seeing the pure joy on their faces is very rewarding. As a result this programme has also provided me with a great sense of satisfaction through seeing the improvement of a person’s life through these positive experiences. It has also added a wide variety of new challenges to work that would otherwise become very repetitive and this in its self has added to my passion for diving and dive instruction.
Anything that improves the quality of somebody’s life while providing therapeutic benefits is worth pursuing and Determined2's Controlled SCUBA Experience certainly does that. Brendan Thayer Master SCUBA Diver Trainer"
Master SCUBA Diver Trainer
The Immersion Therapy program is undoubtedly the best opportunity that has accidentally stumbled my way at the most needed time.
As a 31-year-old woman born with cerebral palsy, I have tried almost every therapy out there yet I still felt there was something missing.
I needed something unique and Determined2 delivered beyond any other program and completely exceeded my expectations. Immersion Therapy allows people to focus on all their strengths and I have the opportunity to experience my body moving without the massive thought process which is required on land, to move when under water.
This program makes me feel a part of something that truly emphasises the importance of having opportunities and fun without feeling like 'the client'. We are all equal and unrestricted in the pool.
Peter has designed the first program in this country which puts the ideological principles of inclusiveness and participation into action.
This way of thinking is embedded throughout the program at every given opportunity. Thanks to all the people who are involved, who provide their time, support and skills to make immersion therapy possible.
I now know what Endorphins are because of immersion therapy, I take less pain killers and my body and mind are thanking me for participating in this awesome program!
Angus Fowler, Testimonial
Being a part of Immersion Therapy with Determined2 has been an outstanding experience. It has allowed me to dive into an entirely new activity that I would normally be excluded from.
I live with cerebral palsy and diagnosed Epilepsy. It is the diagnosed Epilepsy that normally would have seen me unable to participate in this kind of activity.
Admittedly following my initial inquiry, it did not look at all likely that I could take part.
To Peter and the Determined2 teams credit, they persevered for four months, exploring ways to break down this barrier, living up to the organisations belief that a person is more than a label, that the barriers presented by ones condition and/or label can be broken down and defied.
In breaking down these barrier, I have become the first person with diagnosed epilepsy to take part in such a program.
Since commencing Immersion Therapy I have felt several physical benefits.
There is a euphoric feeling felt during every dive, as well as a sense of utter weightlessness and freedom.
My cerebral palsy affects my legs and overall mobility. In taking part in Immersion Therapy, the restrictions in movement normally felt on the surface are totally non-existent below.
This feeling of freedom allows muscle groups normally restricted by my cerebral palsy to be exercised.
I have also noticed that pain and tightness in my legs has reduced significantly.
Lastly, being a part of immersion therapy has allowed me to meet new people in what I have found to be an incredibly friendly and supportive environment.
The thought of taking part in diving with scuba may be somewhat nerve racking to some, and at first, I admit it is, but with professional and certified instructors and a friendly environment, nerves quickly give way to exhilaration.
I strongly encourage those who are considering whether to take part to do so. The experience is like no other.
A Recent Article about Determined2 in the Lifetime Support Authority of South Australia's Newsletter
excerpt from recent newsletter published on LSA website 15 Dec 2015 "Diving beyond Barriers"
A life-threatening motorcycle accident has been the trigger for an innovative concept that provides diving experiences for people with significant disabilities.
Managing Director of Determined2, Peter Wilson, was involved in a motorcycle accident in 2007, which left him fighting for life. While recovering he reflected on all of the things he had not experienced in his life, and one of them was diving – Determined2 was born.
Determined2 provides a Controlled SCUBA ExperienceTM to people living with a range of disabilities, including paraplegia and quadriplegia.
The sessions are held in hydrotherapy or general swimming pools and, importantly, all sessions take place following appropriate medical clearance.
Peter said that being in a weightlessness environment really opens up a whole new world for participants.
“Some of our participants have demonstrated a wide range of abilities – some like to sit back and relax while blowing bubbles, others love doing somersault after somersault,” he said.
“The weightless environment
opens up a whole new world of opportunities
for our participants, and we encourage them
to find out what this means for them.”
LSA scheme participant Richard Davis recently enjoyed a session at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre with Determined2, and said the feeling of freedom was by far the best part for him.
“It was an awesome feeling of freedom,
being able to do whatever I wanted
in any position,” he said.
“The fact that 90% of the time I am sitting, and if not I’m lying down, being under water there is no restriction on what I could do. There is a fun aspect to the experience but for me the best part was the freedom.”