News

Penny's Masters Games gold worth more than money

Penny Taylor wins Gold masters medals after having Gillian Barre disease. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Penny Taylor wins Gold masters medals after having Gillian Barre disease. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times Renee Pilcher

DYING was a life-changing experience for Gympie Masters Games champion Penny Taylor.

A brief experience of death taught her to live life with enthusiasm, she says.

Struck down with the paralysing and sometimes fatal disease Guillain-Barre Syndrome, she remembers being unable even to blink as medical staff put her on life support.

"I died but they brought me back," she said.

That was a generation ago and the beginning of a whole new life for Mrs Taylor.

Speaking at her Alfred St home this week, she had just returned victorious from the regional Masters Games in Maryborough.

It was all a long way from 1981 when, still living in New Zealand, she was struck down by the disease, which damages nerve endings.

"They told me and my husband I would never walk again," she said.

"I was on life support and couldn't move a thing, but I heard every word and I was completely conscious.

"I couldn't speak. I couldn't even wipe tears from my eyes, and they were stinging.

"I couldn't even tell people if they were hurting me.

"I had the first blood plasma exchange ( a blood replacement treatment which seems to cure many cases of the syndrome) ever performed in New Zealand. No one knew how you got it, but they told me it was the body's reaction to a virus.

"Mine came on quickly. Within 24 hours of feeling sick, I was in hospital."

Sheer determination was her secret weapon and she clearly remembers the physiotherapist who took her to the gymnasium in her wheelchair.

She also remembers the doctor who one day forced her to leave the wheelchair behind.

'Take a step towards me. I'm sure you can do it. I'll catch you if you fall,' he said.

"I took one step and started to fall and he caught me," she said.

"I only started back at amateur athletics at Albert Park this year. I trained hard for the Masters Games (in Maryborough)." And it all paid off.

She returned with five medals, all gold, for her five entries in the games - shot put, 100m sprint, 200m, long jump and triple jump.

"My children think it's great. My grandchildren think it's fantastic," she said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  health sport



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Stolen guns still missing: court

GUN THEFT:Guns and ammunition were stolen and some firearms have yet to be recovered in a case before Gympie Magistrates Court this week.

Unrecovered stolen guns a threat to the community, court told

Local Partners

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

GAME of Thrones fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at the smash-hit show’s upcoming seventh season — after a brutal 11-month wait.

How true-blue train driver became a TV star

Bernie Baker stars in the TV series Railroad Australia.

Fan reactions still surprise Bernie Baker.

Conviction for Snapchat body shaming of elderly woman

Dani Mathers was arrested after snapping a photo of a naked, elderly woman in a US gym and posting it on social media. Picture: Supplied

Model convicted for secretly snapping and posting a naked gym pic

What's on the big screen this week

 Kaya Scodelario and Johnny Depp in a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

JACK Sparrow faces an old foe and Sam Worthington stars in The Shack

Rebel Wilson says she didn’t have to lie to make it

Rebel Wilson fronts the media on day two of her trial.

I'm not glamorous, but that doesn’t make me a liar

All bets on Judah to win battle to become the Voice

Judah Kelly from The Voice.

Judah Kelly is the clear favourite to win the competition.

Kim Kardashian slammed over Manchester tribute

Kim Kardashian's tribute to Manchester didn't go down well

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!