If These Legs Could Walk
by Deano Coulston
“Deano” Coulston is a familiar figure around the Elizabeth, South Australia, area. He is hard to miss in his motorized wheelchair with its “2 TUFF” number plate attached to the rear. A pair of lanky legs, normally clad in Crows football socks precede his arrival. Behind a pair of black-rimmed glasses his eyes appraise everyone he meets with an astuteness that suggests he has seen some tough times and some good ones as well. He sums people up quickly, and an infectious smile greets friends. A cautious look indicates you are being assessed.
His arms are heavily tattooed and it’s best not to call him by his given name, Dean, because he will simply raise his right hand which has “Deano” tattooed quite creatively across it. So it’s Deano.
Deano Coulston is 36 years-old and was born with severe spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy. He lives as independently as possible with his retired father, Geoff, in a modified area at the rear of their home in Craigmore. Deano refers to his living space as his “decked out pad”. Not surprisingly, Deano’s life has not been an easy journey for any members of his family (Mum Pat, Dad Geoff and two sisters, Dallas and Stacey) and has involved a roller coaster ride around Australia at various stages of his growth, in search of the most appropriate teaching and caring facilities. The journey has included stints in Adelaide, Sydney and far north Queensland.
Motivated by a desire to express his frustrations at society’s perception of people with disabilities, Deano has, for a number of years, and with the help of carers and friends, been compiling his thoughts with a view to producing a book. With assistance from the Julia Farr Centre that book has become a reality, and Deano is the proud author of “If these legs could walk”, a brief and readable full coloured booklet, richly illustrated with his life’s achievements to date.
Deano vents his frustrations throughout the narrative, while making it clear that his severe disability has not prevented him from achieving a great deal of personal satisfaction in his pursuit of success in the martial arts field, as well as his ongoing role as a contributor to local government in respect of upgrades necessary within the community to assist people with a range of disabilities.
The book represents yet another achievement in Deano’s very full and active life.
40 pages softcover