How an Injury Led to Unbelievable Employee Care

How many of you really feel valued in your jobs? How many of you can say “the company I work for will have my back no matter what”? I work for SMS Management & Technology and can confidently say that I work for a company that will go above and beyond not just for me, but for all employees.

I underwent 3 major surgeries whilst away on our Sales Conference less than a month ago. The treatment I received completely blew me away. 

Here’s my story...

On Wednesday 7th September, myself and the recruitment teams from SMS and M&T Resources made our way to Port Douglas for the annual M&T Sales Conference; a three-day event in sunny Queensland of teambuilding activities, conference workshops and events. Unfortunately, one day into the conference I felt pain in my left leg and visited the local GP, who urged me to quickly get myself to the Port Douglas Hospital. Chris Sandham (Managing Director of M&T Resources and Director of People and Culture at SMS) drove me to the hospital himself.

After being given medication at the hospital and returning back to the resort, the pain multiplied and within 2 hours I was back at Port Douglas Hospital, where I was immediately transferred to the Emergency Department of Cairns Hospital. Chris remained with me throughout this traumatic time and by 4am I had been diagnosed with compartment syndrome – in simple terms, I had severe internal bleeding and my leg urgently needed to undergo major surgery. It was a shocking and stressful time, particularly being rushed into surgery with no family with me and little chance of getting in touch with anyone at such an early hour. During the operation, Chris made contact with my family, arranged an immediate flight for my partner from Melbourne, and went out to buy me a fresh set of clothes.

Overall, I stayed at Cairns Hospital for 9 days, underwent 3 major surgeries and spent almost 3 weeks in Cairns before being cleared to fly home. On my final night in Cairns, Chris journeyed up from his home city of Sydney to have dinner with my partner and I, and to support us on the flight home. He flew back to Melbourne with us, ensuring that my flight was as smooth as possible before he flew back home to Sydney.  
I feel so grateful that SMS and M&T Resources were with me every step of the way throughout this difficult time. Whilst in the hospital, I received phone calls, personal visits and five separate gift hampers from the team. I also received a call from Rick, our CEO who wished me well and a speedy recovery. Now that I am back in Melbourne, I have been granted a flexible working from home arrangement and I look forward to getting back into the office as soon as possible. 

In this situation, not many companies would have gone to the same lengths as SMS – they have shown that they really do live by their company values and look after their team both on a personal and a professional level. My recent experience revealed to me in a very real way how important it is to be supported by your employer. I hope that sharing this will highlight to other companies how crucial it is to firmly stand behind employees and to actively demonstrate genuine care about their well being. 
Julian Wallbridge
About: Julian Wallbridge

Julian is a Talent Acquisition Consultant based in the SMS Melbourne Office. Julian is responsible for all internal permanent recruitment activities across VIC and SA, partnering with Regional Directors, Practice Leads & Managers across the regions to actively plan, forecast and execute recruitment activities.