• Tania Alderman, Freddie, Acrylic on canvas 2020

Tania Alderman |  Student Reflection

I interviewed F with her husband, the resultant painting depicts sunset at the North Wall, the mouth of the Richmond River in Ballina. F and her husband have been married for 51½ years. F had a fall and broke her femur. This required surgical intervention and rehabilitation.

F jovially asked me if I painted a horse would it look like a horse; so, I depicted her on a horse as I heard people who are unable to walk occasionally use horse riding as a way to experience the sensation of walking. 

The helicopter is included as F liked to watch them from her window landing at Lismore Base Hospital when she was there. As F’s husband used to work on helicopters, she had comfort watching them.

As we talked, I heard about their courting days. F’s husband sold his sailing boat to buy her an engagement ring, hence the sailboat. The tree with the broken limb represents her broken limb. F loved to line dance before her injuries; the three dancers represent their twin daughters and son. The warm colours represent the warmth and love F and her husband have for each other.

Patient Story  |  'Freddie'

I slipped on a pine cone and fell. I didn’t know that my femur was fractured until three days after the accident - it just gave way. After surgery, I spent weeks in rehabilitation. I have had lots of surgery in recent years. At first, I was very angry that I had done this again – it should not have happened. I felt locked up in the hospital and it took me a long time to get over it. I was in the hospital over Christmas and New Year. The pain could have been worse. My shoulders hurt as I had to get around on a walking frame as I could not bear weight. I am still limited getting up and down stairs and continue to have physiotherapy. The leg brace came off about a week ago. It feels great to have it off. Shortly after the injury, my quality of life changed but it is good now. In the beginning, my husband was lonely at home by himself and the injury stopped me from driving and line-dancing.


Advice for others: “Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not going to be like this forever.”


Fractures are often due to high impact trauma. Many factors can increase the risk of fractures. Maintaining good bone health as we age is an important first step in prevention. Interested in assessing your fracture risk? Visit FRAX®

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