Mr T isn’t a Virgin Money customer. But this is his tale of living the life he loves, and how an injury helped him realise the importance of protecting what matters.
On Mr T’s bus route in the Blue Mountains, you can be sure of punctuality, crisp politeness and the chance to reach your seat before the bus leaves the curb. Look a little closer, and you might catch the sparkle of mischievous blue eyes or the glint of a skull and crossbones ring on his finger. Mr T’s quirks and eccentricities are enjoyed by all of his passengers, as they are what makes him, him. Then there’s the question of that six-month hiatus he took from driving that the regulars of his route may recall. The truth is, if you’ve met Mr T at his day job, you might never know how much he has forged his own path. Essentially, he has come back to life after breaking his neck.
Outside his route, Mr T lives loud. He exudes warm energy and has been known to take to the streets in nothing but body paint. Strip that back further and you’ll uncover a family man, beekeeper and creator of striking jewellery and t-shirts. You’ll discover someone who during his early teen years, decided to live life on his own terms. “It’s a big thing I always hold onto,” he says, “that I’ve got wings on my heels and that helps me be myself.”
However, Mr T's story has had some sharp turns. A serious injury suffered while taking the dog for a walk with his family, showed just how precious life can be.
“We weren’t doing anything crazy, but I did have an accident on my push bike that afternoon. I fractured my neck – the C6 and C7 had compression fractures. But I didn’t realise the seriousness of the situation until a few days later,” he recalls.
After his body seized up and went into complete lock mode, he was in recovery for three months. He was heavily sedated and had to sit in a bed for six weeks. “Just putting the radio on in the morning – that’s too much. Lifting your arm to change the channel – that’s exhausting. You can’t talk to anyone. It’s not explainable – just a horrible thing.”
Thankfully, he’s mostly recovered from his injury. “It’s been four years since the accident and I’m still recovering so I’m not fixed. I’m not the person I was, as you shouldn’t be, but I’m good enough and that’s just life. It’s just something that happened, it’s not my story.”
Right now, he’s working to find a new path. One where he can grow more vegetables, harvest more honey and spend more time with his son. “It’s just about polishing that stone and becoming more of who you are, peeling back layers and understanding more, because ultimately that’s the satisfaction of life.”
Mr T has continued enjoying his many hobbies and being the truest version of himself. “Over the last few years, I’ve just started to compile possibilities and ask myself, OK, what parts of life do I enjoy and how can I make those parts more of what I live each day? I suppose the essence of who everybody is and how you do you, is getting closer to living your dream.”
If anyone now knows how fast things can change and how important income protection is to safeguard his future, it’s Mr T. Even though he has his creative hobbies, he also has his job as a bus driver and a family to help provide for financially. While his experience has made him who he is today, he knows the importance of making sure that if something else were to happen, like another injury or illness, he could worry less about his finances with income protection insurance.
Although your lifestyle may not be traditional, it’s still important to consider protecting your financial situation with income protection insurance. From bus driving to beekeeping, we cover over 1000 job types and employment situations.
In every story there’s bumps in the road, but it’s those hiccups, big or small, life altering or not, that make the victories all the more precious, and that’s worth protecting. Be prepared for the bends and bumps in the road. Virgin Income Protection Insurance can help you feel more secure. Talk to us about protecting your future today.