Henrietta's cover image
Henrietta

Henrietta LAW

Year of Award: 1996 Award State: Victoria Health And Medicine > Rehabilitation And Pain Management
The Jack Brockhoff Churchill Fellowship to investigate the latest advances in physiotherapy to rehabilitate burn victims - USA, UK, Denmark
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In 1996 Henrietta Law (1957-2006), also from Victoria, was awarded a Jack Brackhoff Churchill Fellowship to investigate the latest advances in physiotherapy to rehabilitate burns victims. She visited Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Henrietta recommended the integration of the Plastics Unit with the Burns Unit for better outcomes at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital Burns Unit where she worked, as well as instigating multidisciplinary meetings to facilitate patient/family centred care and to streamline discharge.

One of Henrietta’s patients was centre half-back AFL player Jason McCartney, who suffered burns to more than 50 per cent of his body in the 2002 Bali bombings. He had nearly died on the operating table, then from blood poisoning, and was in a coma for five days. He pays tribute to Henrietta’s skill and character in his 2004 book, After Bali.

Henrietta had no knowledge of AFL but she connected with Jason and inspired him. When helping him to do the seemingly impossible, to walk again, Jason writes, ‘If you’re determined enough, you can overcome anything.’ When Henrietta was helping him to come to terms with first using a walking frame, she told him to think of it as his four-wheel drive.

Jason’s fiancée and later wife Nerissa, writes: ‘Every day she came in, he just came to love her, and so did I. She is one of the reasons that he has been able to reach his goals: the wedding, the football comeback. She was phenomenal.’

After a struggle with cancer Henrietta passed away on 27 December 2006.

Excerpt from “Inspiring Australians” written by Penny Hanley (2015)

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