Te Whatarangi Dixon is a man with much "Mana' (The Maori word that means to have great authority, presence to command respect).
Despite his relative youth at age just 30 he has twice already stared his own mortality in the face.
He was the victim of Guellain Barre Syndrome or GBS for short. Guillain-Barre ) syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms.
These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralysing your whole body. In its most severe form Guillain-Barre syndrome is a medical emergency and in this case is what severe and meant Te Whatarangi was months in hospital.
The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown. But two-thirds of patients report symptoms of an infection in the six weeks preceding. These include respiratory or a gastrointestinal infection or Zika virus.
Te Whatarangi lost all control over his body and literally watched his body fail and start to die while his brain remained fully conscious. The fear, the uncertainty, not knowing if he would live or die or if he lived if he would ever have any quality of life again or be trapped in a body that no longer worked sent Te Whatarangi through a long night of the soul. But he eventually emerged. Stronger, more resilient, more empathetic and more driven that ever before.
This is a comeback story of survival and of love. The importance of family and how they helped him through. Te Whatarangi is now a qualified neuro-physio and knows exactly what his patients and clients are going through. He knows the battles they face and he guides them back on the path to their goals.
Heartwarming and raw this interview will inspire you and make you grateful for the blessings you have.
Te Whatarangi's greeting to you all in Maori
Ko Putauaki te māunga
Ko Rangitaiki te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Ngāti Awa tōku iwi
Ko Te Pahipoto tōku hapū
Ko Wayne Haeata tōku matua
Ko Kay Mereana tōku whaea
Ko Blair Te Whatarangi Dixon ahau
I have come from very humble beginnings. I am a product of my whānau (family) and I would not be the man I am today without them supporting me every step of the way. Everything that I am and everything that I strive to be is a reflection of not only myself but my whānau. I represent them and I hope to make them just as proud as I am of them. I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) in 2014 and again in 2019 where only 1 in 100'000 people are diagnosed globally with a 1% chance of contracting it twice. Always an optimist and through my journey of self-discovery having faced the possibility of my own mortality, I am now proud to call myself a Neurophysiotherapist. My journey has been challenging yet unique and I wish to share my story with the world in the hope others feel inspired and to allow their light to shine.
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Lisa's third book has just been released. It's titled "Relentless - How A Mother And Daughter Defied The Odds"
Visit: https://relentlessbook.lisatamati.com/ for more Information
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When extreme endurance athlete, Lisa Tamati, was confronted with the hardest challenge of her life, she fought with everything she had. Her beloved mother, Isobel, had suffered a huge aneurysm and stroke and was left with massive brain damage; she was like a baby in a woman's body. The prognosis was dire. There was very little hope that she would ever have any quality of life again. But Lisa is a fighter and stubborn.
She absolutely refused to accept the words of the medical fraternity and instead decided that she was going to get her mother back or die trying.
This book tells of the horrors, despair, hope, love, and incredible experiences and insights of that journey. It shares the difficulties of going against a medical system that has major problems and limitations. Amongst the darkest times were moments of great laughter and joy.
Relentless will not only take the reader on a journey from despair to hope and joy, but it also provides information on the treatments used, expert advice and key principles to overcoming obstacles and winning in all of life's challenges. It will inspire and guide anyone who wants to achieve their goals in life, overcome massive obstacles or limiting beliefs. It's for those who are facing terrible odds, for those who can't see light at the end of the tunnel. It's about courage, self-belief, and mental toughness. And it's also about vulnerability... it's real, raw, and genuine.
This is not just a story about the love and dedication between a mother and a daughter. It is about beating the odds, never giving up hope, doing whatever it takes, and what it means to go 'all in'. Isobel's miraculous recovery is a true tale of what can be accomplished when love is the motivating factor and when being relentless is the only option.