Rider overcomes a grim diagnosis

Colac’s David Ponton has achieved his dream of riding a horse again, 18 months after a stroke left him incapacitated. He is pictured riding horse Indie with physiotherapist Mark Zampatti, rear, and Riding for the Disabled’s Ian Lane, left, and Anne Lane.

When doctors told Colac’s David Ponton he would be incapable of rehabilitation after a stroke paralysed the left side of his body, he said to his wife, “nobody asked me”.

And now 18 months later, Mr Ponton has made strides in his recovery, literally – relearning to walk and achieving his goal of riding a horse again.

Mr Ponton was determined to rehabilitate and improve his quality of life after receiving the unpromising medical advice.

“I had two sons representing me and when they said that, they said to their mother ‘that’s a load of baloney, they don’t know our father’,” Mr Ponton said.

“I thought to myself, now I’ve got it, it’s no-one’s fault, it’s no good crying and blaming people, you’ve got to make the best of it,” he said.

Physiotherapists Mark Zampatti and Nathan Bryant worked with Mr Ponton, a former farmer and horse rider, to rehabilitate him and increase his strength.

“Mark said, ‘yeah, it’s bad, I’m up for a challenge’. He worked on him for months,” Mr Ponton’s wife Pat said.

Mr Ponton, who lives at Colac’s Corangamarah aged care, said a late night thought of riding a horse was the beginning of his journey to get back on the saddle and relive his much-loved hobby.

Mr Zampatti and Anne Lane from Riding for the Disabled made Mr Ponton’s dream possible with progress over several weeks to prepare him to ride a horse.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

Buy the Colac Herald print edition, which has full coverage of all the region’s news and sport. Click here to find out where to buy a copy

Comments are closed.