Samantha Longmore shared her story of resilience, love of natural Australian fibres, mental health awareness, and creativity with Condobolin residents recently.
Her “journey of a chick in a chair’ resonated and inspired many as she held a workshop at the Condobolin Sports Club on Saturday, 14 August.
Workshop participants made a natural coloured couch sized throw, that was completely unique to them. They also enjoyed food and drinks plus lovely and sometimes deep conversations.
In 2017, she began to experiment with how to knit using unconventional methods. Samantha began using dowel and her arm to create handmade Merino wool home décor and warm wooly wearables. She actually created a knitting method using just one hand.
Thus, Ohh Bulldust was born.
What began as a business selling knitted goods has turned into offering workshops, teaching other how to knit and about mental health.
Participants at Condobolin were able to learn the original knitting method and talk about what you can do when times get tough.
“OhhBulldust Runs workshops throughout the year to bring people together, to showcase the incredible fibre that is merino wool, to teach you all how I (sam) knits with just one hand, why I started knitting,” Samnatha writes in her website, ohhbulldust/myshopify.com
“I’ll teach you about the qualities of the wool, where it is derived from etc and we will together go through as a group to practise patience, learn new techniques to deal with your own struggles, ill teach you about how I’ve overcome my injuries and what I continue to do today to help me get through it all.
“The Workshops are all about coming together and spending some much needed time on yourself , making beautiful things of your own, eating food and drinking some wine or a cuppa together while having a laugh and sharing stories together.”
There are moments which define us. For Samantha, this began one weekend in October 2013 she attended the Harden Picnic Races with her friends, but then accepted a late night call out from her boss to work at a nightclub in Canberra. This decision would change her life forever.
She drove to Gold creek servo and fuelled up, She grabbed a salad wrap, a bottle of water and a brand new flavour of a ‘fizzer’ lolly. She was on her way home to get some much needed sleep. But she never made it.
Just 15 kilometres from the Gold Creek Servo, she fell asleep and her car had flipped up a bank and through a pool fence. This was around 5.15am on 27 October, 2013.
“3 nights of no sleep, running purely off adrenaline, love and drive, my bodies need for slumber caught up with me,” Samantha wrote on her blog (#2 it happened, it all f&@king happened on 2 November 2019).
After being found by passers by Samantha was enroute to Canberra Hospital, when she was involved in yet another accident.
“The Ambulance I was being transported in crashed on the Barton highway, I wasn’t secured properly and I was projected forward at speed and squashed from the top of my head down,” she wrote on her blog (#2 it happened, it all f&@king happened on 2 November 2019).
Perhaps thankfully, the only thing Samantha has any memory of is leaving Gold Creek Servo.
She sustained Stem and C Spine injuries and has been left with ‘Complete spastic Hemiplegia’ (complete right side paralysis).
Samantha is not afraid to say there were some dark days, when she questioned everything. But from her experiences she found the courage not only to navigate her way in a wheelchair but to find herself.
“October 27th 2013 flipped my world on its head, it crushed ‘almost’ every little piece inside of me. From that day on I had to attempt my hardest job yet, healing, staying strong, rehabilitating my body, upholding relationships, not breaking down. I had to keep my anger at the situation under control, I had to rebuild my life , my dreams of a career in the defence force were over, I felt like I had to keep everyone around me happy and entertained, all while having no f&@king idea what was going on with my body!,” she wrote on her blog (#2 it happened, it all f&@king happened on 2 November 2019).
She urges people to look beyond disabilities and discover the actual person. Determination is the key to succeeding in whatever path you choose to take, according to Samantha.
“My accidents do not define who I am nor are they my entire story, they are just part of, a bump in the road of who I was destined to become,” she said on her blog (#2 it happened, it all f&@king happened on 2 November 2019).
“Looking back now would I have done things differently…? YES absolutely, YES.
“I’d erase my pain, I’d erase the pain caused to all my family and friends, I would SLEEP, I would say no, I would look after myself, I would of stayed and gone out partying with my partner at the time. But the reality is I can’t and I didn’t, I can’t erase time, I can’t take it all back I couldn’t have ever controlled the situation in that ambulance.
“I am where I am right now because right here is where I am supposed to be. What happened, happened. It couldn’t have happened any other way because it didn’t!
“Readers…. I’ll tell you all one thing, I’m not one bit who I used to be, I’m not quite who I am supposed to be but I’m working hard and I’ll get there.”