Hello, I’m Danny Furlong. I’m a non-verbal quadriplegic confined to an electric wheelchair, courtesy of a stroke thirty years ago. I live alone in my own home, with government-funded carers coming in morning, noon, night and nighty-night to do the basics for me.
Since my stroke I’ve become a writer. I have a special computer keyboard that is operated by a head laser attached to my reading glasses. It’s good, but very slow. This letter will take me forever to write, so please take the time to read it fully and carefully.
Over the years I’ve had sundry short stories and poems published, but it’s only this year that the first of my novels appeared in print. And just this month that my autobiography, Flatout, was published. It’s Flatout that I’m writing to you about. My stroke could have been life-ending, in that it left me so disabled. However, within the confines of quadriplegia I lead a full, positive and happy life.
Flatout details that life. It’s a good and entertaining read, with humour and pathos. Corny though this may sound it’s truly inspirational. I’m hoping you will recommend it to your members. Please.
PS. I’m including the synopsis of Flatout and in case you can be bothered reading on I’m also including a newspaper article from last Saturday.
Imagine yourself as a very physical guy, an ex-commando and skydiver, who has a stroke for no known reason and loses nearly everything but the functions of your mind and – thankfully – your sexuality.
You awaken from a coma to a gruelling, yet often funny, rehabilitation. You can’t speak; you can only move your eyes.
You’ve never been an angel. You lose your marriage totally and are separated from your children.
Finally, new love, and you become a parent once more.
This is the true-life story of Danny Furlong’s extraordinary journey from active life to the depths of mute quadriplegia, and back to the highs of life within that quadriplegia.
Newspaper article …
Danny Furlong has had a very varied and an unusual life. At age thirty seven he suffered a stroke which left him a non-verbal quadriplegic. He has been this way for over thirty years and lives by himself. Carers come in the morning, noon, evening and late night for just an hour at a time to do the basics for him. For the rest of the time is alone, except for his six years old German Shepherd dog Bruno.
Danny’s rather un-ordinary circumstance has allowed him to concentrate on his writing - something he always longed to do but never had the time prior to his stroke. Early this year Danny decided to start publishing the best of his works including his autobiography, Flatout, and a young adult fantasy trilogy, Drinsighe.
Early on Danny led a life that included things like computer programming, professional running, time in the army as a commando soldier, parachuting, cliff climbing and mining to name a few.
Then at the age of thirty seven things became interesting. Out of the blue he had a stroke that left him, after a few weeks of coma, a non-verbal quadriplegic. He has been this way for nigh on thirty years now. Years that also included things like bungy jumping and travelling the Australian outback in an old bus, bringing forth another new life into the world, and a lot of writing.
Having plenty of alone time and being a non-verbal quadriplegic has allowed Danny to concentrate on his writing - something he has always wanted to do but never had the time to do (except for a time in his twenties when he spent many months living on a Greek isle writing the Great Australian Novel - which he hurriedly threw into the bin when he re-read it back in Australia).
Danny uses a special computer keyboard that is operated by a head laser attached to his reading glasses. It's good system, but very slow and the physical task of typing a book is interminal.
Finding the words to write has always been easy for Danny and over the years he has devoted himself to writing many things - novels, film and stage scripts, short stories and poems. He’s had various short stories and poems published, but never really spent the time needed to find publishers for his bigger works.
Early this year Danny decided to publish the best of his works online.
Ten years ago Danny wrote an autobiography, Flatout. He then rewrote it as a play and it was performed in theatres in Bendigo and Castlemaine. Sub-sequentially it was serialised on ABC Radio National and produced on double CD for ABC shops. This year Danny has added to it and only a few weeks ago put it up online for purchase at www.dannyfurlong.com
Many years ago Danny wrote a young adult fantasy trilogy, Drinsighe, which he has done work on it every few years since. This year he has had book one, Ellydd Gate, now reworked, professionally edited and put up online for purchase at www.dannyfurlong.com. Book two will be edited and published within months, with book three online too just months after that.
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