9th March 2014, Monique fell from a 5th floor balcony. It was first thought that she attempted suicide but is now suspected that she had a spiked drink. She woke from an induced coma one week later in the Royal Melbourne Hospital to discover her right foot had been amputated. She then had to decide whether to undergo a further amputation of the leg to improve mobility. Monique's injures included: · jaw broken in two places · deep laceration to the neck · broken left collar bone · severed 30% of tricep tendon in right arm · 3 broken ribs and punctured lung · left knee reconstruction · right tibia platue repair · amputation of the right foot With her family by her side, Monique spent the next 6 weeks in hospital undergoing a total of 8 operations, the final one reflecting her decision to have a further amputation on her right leg to just below the knee. This difficult decision was made because, Monique's mobility would be dramatically improved with a below knee prosthetic as opposed to a partial foot prosthetic. Exactly one year after her accident, with her family cheering in the stands, Monique was announced as a member of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team, heading to the IPC World Championships to be held in Glasgow.
In 2016 at the Paralympic Games. Monique competed in a total of 4 events, and on day 8, swam her 400 Freestyle to win the silver medal. Monique's family, her strongest supporters cheered loudly from the stands, just 900 days after they first received the news of the accident. But it was not an easy road for Monique Murphy struggling with her own mental health issues and she is now helping reduce the stigma of mental health through her role as an AIS Lifeline Community Custodian.
Monique is one of 22 proud Australian Athletes from 13 sports who have partnered with Lifeline to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. During her work throughout this program in 2019 she was elevated to ‘Para head of Program’. Together the team aim to open up the discussion surrounding mental health and promote the Lifeline services. Her message is clear and simple.
The more we talk about it, the more we can break down stigma.” Here is Monique’s incredible story.