Best Laid Plans
Start of the 100 metres
The fateful ‘one hundred’
I’ve always loved running. As a kid, my best events were the one and two hundred metre sprints. On a sunny winter’s afternoon in July, I decide to go for a 30 minute run. At the end, I time myself sprinting a ‘one hundred’. I have the distance marked out on a stretch of road. I set my stop watch, crouch down, suck in three deep breaths. I click the timer. The next thing I know, I’m punching out of my stance like a rocket! ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-FIVE strides. I’m gaining momentum and I’m gradually rising to my full height, pushing my chest out allowing my body to go as fast as I can. I love the sensation. Then suddenly without any warning I feel a ‘twanggggggggg’. My left knee snaps like a huge rubber band. There’s no pain but I know immediately this isn’t good and I pull up lame.
The following day I see my doctor. An MRI scan reveals a damaged meniscus. My doctor says, “Lucky it’s not your ACL [Anterior Cruciate Ligament], that’s a long rehab process”. While none of this is great, I’m aware it could be a lot worse. An appointment is made for me to see an orthopaedic surgeon that afternoon.
MRI of Daryl’s left knee which showed the surgeon the extent of the devastating injury
My father, Alan Green, drops by my apartment just before I’m due to head to the ortho. I update him on my knee. So we can spend some more time together, I suggest he accompanies me to the appointment. Dad sits in on the consultation. The surgeon asks me how I injured my knee and I tell him my sorry tale. He says, “You have a one percenter injury. You’ve torn your meniscus from the root. It’s very rare and very serious. It’s normally associated with the kind of trauma we see from a parachuting incident. We have an 80% chance of successfully repairing the meniscus, otherwise you face life long consequences such as not being able to run.” I’m absolutely flawed, as is dad. After the initial shock, I ask about my options should the surgery not be successful. He talks about breaking a leg bone and realigning it to move the pressure on the knee joint. I sleep uneasily that night.
Anatomy of the knee
Under the knife
On Tuesday 15 August 2017, I’m in hospital. Keyhole surgery is used to reattach my medial meniscus (the inside of the knee). The detached meniscus, which has coiled up at the back of my knee and feels like a sponge, is pulled forward to the front of the joint. The end of the meniscus, and the bone area it will be attached to, are scored or roughed up to assist them to knit together. Lastly, a screw is inserted through the meniscus into the bone to affix the root in place. Thankfully, the operation is deemed a success. Despite this, the recovery ahead challenges me more than I could ever have imagined. Yet, as so often happens in life, it also brings me an incredible opportunity. I’m looking forward to sharing this with you in the next instalment.
The operation is a success! Smiles all around from me, dad and great mate, Neil Robson
Three key events took place over three years:
- A casual conversation with a film producer
- Approach to the Queensland Police Service to produce a short film
- An introduction to the Chairman of Lifeline
These are all culminating in a special event for Lifeline on the evening of Wednesday 16 May 2018.
Visit the TWICE SHOT Events page, read the flyer, click the ticket link and be part of an historical special event.
In February 2017 I attended the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) in Melbourne. At the event, another attendee from Brisbane, Gail Sawyer, who is the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, introduced me to Martin Donovan.
Martin is the editor of MIX – Asia’s leading MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) magazine.
As the last day of the conference was winding down, over a glass of wine, courtesy of the Macao trade & exhibition stand, Martin and I discussed our travels, love of South East Asia and our backgrounds that brought us to AIME.
Our friendly networking resulted in a three page TWICE SHOT® article in the print and online edition of the October/November 2017 MIX magazine.
I complimented Martin on the article and he responded:
Thanks for helping with the great content Daryl – it’s going to be a challenge to make the next edition look as good after that!
I am grateful for Martin’s humbling words.
The condensed version of the online article is available:
- Part 1 – “Gunned down… how a night of terror unfolded”
- Part 2 – “Gunned down, but not out – Daryl Elliott Green”
If you wish to receive an electronic copy of the full article which appears in the print magazine, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Australian Psychological Society approached me through ICMI Speakers Bureau to speak about how psychology assisted me after the shooting, for their event Why I Believe in Change, at Federation Square in Melbourne on Sunday 8th October 2017.
I will soon write about this experience and the amazing Queensland Police Service psychologist Chris Manktelow—a man also with an incredible true story—who provided incalculable assistance to my mental health.
I was speaking along with three other leading Australians:
- Libby Trickett OAM, Olympian, broadcaster and mother
- Fablice Manirakiza, former child soldier and 2016 Young Victorian of the Year
- Leanne Faulkner, founder of Billie Goat Soap
Prior to the event senior reporter for News Corp Matt Young interviewed me.
He had done his research and one of the first things he said:
‘Your story is amazing, but I’ve never heard of it!’
I immediately thought of Eddie Cantor’s famous quote, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” 😊
We spoke at length about the fateful night, when two colleagues and I were shot multiple times by deranged gunman Nigel Parodi, and the harrowing journey afterwards.
Matt went on to say, “…we can share your story with the world and help promote mental health.”
To accompany the article news.com.au created by agreement this social video using TWICE SHOT® footage and collateral:
Enjoy the read…
On Saturday 7 October, as part of news.com.au’s Real Life -> True Stories reporting, they published this online in depth article (please note confronting content): The incredible story of how Daryl Green was shot in the face — and survived.
My mother and father were the glue that held me and my life together, whilst professionals—psychologists and psychiatrists—treated me for years during the worst stages of chronic PTSD.
I know from experience, the secondary causalities of PTSD are the sufferer’s loved ones – wife, partner, children, siblings, parents – the ones who see the effects of PTSD up close and personal. The depression, anger, anxiety, hyperarousal, dreams, flashbacks, withdrawal and massive personality changes.
One of my first memories of what I was going through affecting my parents, was in the first week after being released from hospital following the shooting.
I was having a nightmare and my father tried to wake me. As soon as he touched me I lashed out kicking at him repeatedly until I woke and realised where I was!
Love ones often feel helpless, are often overlooked by support services (although this is improving) and suffer in silence. For years I underwent intrusive operations to reconstruct my shattered mouth from that first bullet, with each procedure re-igniting the full fury of PTSD.
This is the damage the first bullet to my face inflicted…
As all loving parents know, what affects your children, affects you. Things became so bad in the early years after the shooting, my father suffered severe depression. I was being treated by an experienced psychiatrist who had children of his own. He had more than an inkling of what my parents were going through. When I shared my concerns about my father’s declining mental health, even though he was not paid for it, the psychiatrist volunteered to see and treat my father for 15 minutes after each session that I had with him. My dad started a course of anti-depressants, which combined with talking about his feelings and emotions, and the wise counsel of this generous psychiatrist, helped in time to relieve his depression. This enabled him to ‘keep going’ and along with mum continue to be a bulwark of support for me.Tony Dell is the only first-class cricketer to serve in the Vietnam war and said, ‘I saw things in Vietnam that the human brain is not meant to experience…’. Forty years after his war service, his experiences led to a diagnosis of PTSD. Not the type to receive his TPI pension and do nothing, he founded Stand Tall for PTS to help reduce the condition’s stigma, educate and encourage governments to do more. In early 2017 he asked me to participate in a music film clip about the condition we share in common. He also asked, ‘Do you know anyone else touched by PTS who would be willing to contribute?’ You don’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to know who I turned to! 😊
Despite his waning years, my dad was once again there for me and agreed to participate in the music film clip. However this time, he was not there solely for me. Anyone who knows my dad, knows his gentle kind and empathic nature – if he can help someone out, he’s the first to show up! Alan participated to help raise awareness of PTSD and in his own small way, try to make the road for the condition’s suffers and their loved ones, a little bit easier than we have had to traverse together.
Hint: Dad appears between 3 and 4 minutes.
The ‘Stand Tall’ music film clip will give you a true glimpse of what it is like living with PTSD and help you understand and better support those affected by the condition.
Please watch the film clip’s scenes and listen carefully to Tony’s own words based on his personal experiences.
More than 15 million Australians are affected by trauma and it is estimated that between 5 and 10 percent of the population will suffer PTSD at some point in their life (Source: Phoenix Australia).
If you wish to…
- learn more
- receive help for suffers and supporters
- support research for effective treatments
My number one supporter was there on the night, my 85 year old father Alan, who along with my late mum Eileen, unwaveringly picked up the pieces with each shattering blow, both physical and mental, that I encountered on my long journey after the shooting.
One of the themes throughout the keynote was what can come from helping people out of the sheer kindness of your heart, which Lifeline epitomises with its over 11,000 volunteers.
I role played the shooting and a number of key turning points during the 45 minute talk. Two very dear friends were present in the audience that night, Joel Palmer and Michael Alafaci, who had stepped up to help me when they saw an opportunity to assist. I was able to share Joel’s and Mike’s stories of support and the ripple effect of their pure acts of kindness.Joel owns a financial asset management business, Palmer Portfolios. He knew that I was speaking within the police and had a powerful story, but was a diamond in the rough when it came to presenting. He did not say anything to me, but he had an idea. At the opening celebration of a new business venture in 2014 he made a specific point of walking me over and introducing me to one of his friends and business associates. He said, ‘Hi Mike, I’d like you to meet Greeny, he has an interesting story.’ I told Mike about my backstory and he listened intently. It turns out Mike is an Executive Performance Coach and one of his core professional services is teaching speaking and presenting skills. A few years later, Mike confided in me saying, ‘When we met mate, I knew you had a lot to offer the world by speaking, but I also knew you could not afford my fees!’ So he made a generous decision and volunteered his time and commenced coaching me in professional speaking. Next he introduced me to Professional Speakers Australia, encouraged me to apply for The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship for Public Speaking, which I was awarded in 2015, and became an amazing friend who continues to coach me to this day.
It was an honour to recognise my father, Joel and Mike in the keynote, and tell their stories of selfless kindness, which had a powerful butterfly effect, of not only helping me to ‘keep going’, but turn a traumatic event on its head and launch me into the world of professional speaking.
Lastly it was a privilege to recognise these same types of selfless acts of kindness demonstrated by Lifeline’s employees and thousands of volunteers each day around the country, helping those members of our community who may not be as fortunate to have a support network such as mine and are doing it tough.
It is a pure joy to support Lifeline’s work. After my talk, John Brogden AM, Chairman of Lifeline Australia had these humbling words to say…
Lifeline Australia’s 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention line is 13 11 14.
Please support Lifeline’s mission of An Australia Free of Suicide through volunteering your time or making a donation.
It consisted of 15 days, 40 vehicles (military and emergency services) and covered 2,322 kilometres, bringing national awareness to Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) through mainstream and social media, as well as, raising funds for the research and treatment of the condition.
I had the privileged to speak to approximately 300 New South Wales Police Force recruits and to Australian Federal Police (AFP) at their Canberra Headquarters, on my experience of PTS.
I spoke about the history of PTS, how it was briefly touched on during my police recruit training, and the events on 1 May 2000, when I was ambushed and shot (in the face and shoulder), along with my colleagues, Constable Sharnelle Cole, and Sergeant Chris Mulhall. I told personal stories of how PTS affected me e.g. hyperarousal, anger, depression, anxiety and dreams. But most importantly, I delved into what helped me manage the debilitating affects of PTS, including the love, care and unwavering support from my parents, Alan and Eileen, as well as, understanding and support from key work colleagues such as the late Inspector Dave Stevenson, and professional help from psychologists and psychiatrists.
The AFP recorded my talk and clips of key messages can be viewed in my Video Library or here:
- ‘Workplace morale, reflection of boss, I can’t walk out’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Expertise at connecting with people’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Bringing down the wall’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘Effects of shooting on my parents’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
- ‘PTS, how long’s it been around?’ – Australian Federal Police HQ, Canberra
The Australian Bravery Decorations Council described the extraordinary circumstances as follows:
Three police officers were seated inside a police vehicle at Hanbury Street, West Chermside with the passenger doors open when an offender fired a series of shots into the car, wounding all three officers before threatening to kill them. Despite suffering serious wounds one office managed to get out of the car, draw his service revolver, and provide a line of protection for his wounded colleagues. Suffering similar wounds, another police officer used the radio to alert Police Communications of the incident. A fourth officer driving nearby heard the call for assistance and drove to the scene. He dragged the officers behind his vehicle for cover, scanned the area for the offender, and provided situation reports by radio until other police and ambulance personnel arrived. Following the shooting, the offender fled to nearby bushland and was later found deceased.
It was a long time coming, but it was a wonderful feeling to be recognised by Her Majesty with my colleagues, for how we pulled together and acted that night, confronting every police officer’s worst nightmare.
Our mothers bring us into this world, feed us and nurture us. They are there when we are helpless and there when we are suffering, be us a child or an adult. And hopefully our mothers have an amazing partner by their side to help raise us. My 81-year-old mother, Eileen, has had by her side an amazing man, my 84-year-old father, Alan, for 53 years of marriage, and who is now also mum’s full-time carer.
Last Friday morning, one week ago, I was preparing to be awarded, along with Sergeant Chris Mulhall, Senior Constable Sharnelle Cole née Harris, and Sergeant Brett Price, a Group Bravery Citation, by his Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland.
All I wanted that morning was mum. I wanted her to be with me at the ceremony. This was far from a foregone conclusion. Would she be able to lift heaven and earth and be there?
I shared a simple story on Facebook about that morning and the above photograph.
The feedback from friends and family was touching. A primary school friend who I had not seen in person for decades read the post and burst into tears. She telephoned her mum and said, ‘You have to call Mrs Green and wish her well’. Her mother reached out and re-connected with my mum, many years past our time at Nundah Primary School.
I thought I’d share word for word, that simple story here, and remind everyone, how important our mothers are to us, and thank my mum for her unwavering support, care and unconditional love.
Mum was very ill the day before the Group Bravery Citation was being presented to me, Chris Mulhall, Sharnelle, and Brett Price, by the Governor His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey, on Friday 6 May 2016. Friday morning, I did not ring mum and dad, but was desperately hoping mum was going to be able to attend. Dressed in full uniform, I arrived at their home and parked in the street. As I rounded the corner of their driveway on foot, I saw their car was out of the garage, hmmm… a favourable sign. As more of the vehicle came into sight, I saw the passenger side door was open, I thought that’s positive. As I walked past the car into the backyard I heard mum’s voice in the kitchen. I felt this is very good. And when I opened the back door, I could see a sliver of blue in the kitchen. As I opened the door further, I realised it was mum, sat in the kitchen in her gorgeous blue dress. I was elated! Thunderbirds were go ? I was able to share this very important day with my two greatest supporters, mum and dad. And we have this beautiful photograph capturing the moment with the Governor. Love you mum and dad. I would not have made it to this day without your care, understanding and unconditional love. I’m a very lucky boy to have such amazing parents ☺
Original Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/daryl.green.5680/posts/1188219024545584?comment_id=1189082944459192
My partner Constable Sharnelle Cole, Sergeant Chris Mulhall and I, were ambushed and all shot multiple times by Nigel Parodi. Some of the challenges I would confront over the coming years were two rounds of facial reconstruction surgery, battling post-traumatic stress, and fighting a 10-year legal battle for criminal compensation.
A key turning point came in 2006 when Queensland Police Academy Sergeant Paul Trinder, asked me if I would mind speaking to his squad of recruits and pass on any lessons from the shooting, that may benefit these soon to be ‘first responder’ police officers. I agreed and spoke to a group about the shooting for the first time in my life. I played the audio of the shooting taking place, drew a diagram on a whiteboard to explain how events unfolded, spoke for an hour, and left the recruits with four lessons. The positive feedback on real life lessons from someone who had lived the experience, led to more requests to address police recruits. Word of my speaking began to spread within police circles. In 2010 I was asked to talk to police officers at Charleville, my first speaking engagement outside Brisbane. Then word of my speaking began to spread outside the police. In 2012 I received a request to speak to Energex employees, my first public speaking engagement.
In 2014 I met speaking coach Michael Alafaci, who introduced me to Professional Speakers Australia, where I learned of an amazing development opportunity, The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship for Public Speaking. I soon learned though that professionals already earning a full time living from speaking, were applying for the scholarship. I fell into a slump and thought, ‘What chance do I have, I’m just a copper.’ However, I had learned that feeling sorry for myself got me nowhere, only action got me somewhere. So drawing on a powerful line from an inspiring movie, ‘Get busy living or get busy dying‘, I got busy living! I picked myself up, put pen to paper and applied for the scholarship. And guess what, I learnt that I was more than just a copper, I was an emerging speaker, because Australia’s professional speakers—who gather once a year to award the prestigious Kerrie Nairn Scholarship for Public Speaking—selected me to be the 2015 scholar!
This year at the Professional Speakers Australia Summit held on the Gold Coast, I was requested to speak on the scholarship experience, prior to the announcement of the 2016 scholar, Chinmay Ananda (‘Congratulations mate, I look forward to supporting you on your amazing scholarship journey that has just commenced’). Today, I posted on YouTube this talk. I posted a short clip ‘In my very expensive trousers, there is a small hole…‘ and the full talk, ‘The Kerrie Nairn Scholarship Experience‘.
It has been wonderful with the support of my 81 year old mum Eileen and 84 year old dad Alan, some very special police colleagues, such as Inspector Dave Stevenson, Inspector Mark Harvey, Research Officer Neil Robson (… and many others), and Australia’s professional speakers, to turn every police officers’ worst nightmare, from a negative experience, into a positive one!
Thank you all.