Few athletes can tell a story to inspire like Monique Murphy.
An elite junior swimmer, she left the sport in her teens, only to rekindle her passion and life-purpose after surviving a fall from a 5th floor balcony.
Suffering lacerations to her neck and chest, as well as multiple broken bones, Monique awoke after a week-long coma to discover her right foot had been amputated.
She has no recollection of the day her life turned upside down. But it was in her waking moment that she made a crucial decision to adapt to her new future; finding courage in the aspects of life she could control. She says: “When life throws us challenges, it’s an opportunity to adapt and get creative.”
After 8 surgeries Monique spent her 20th birthday, considering and later agreeing to, an elective below-the-knee amputation. Monique then turned her hospital bed into a podium winning a silver medal from the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games – an achievement gained just 900 days after her accident. From there Monique was a member of the Australian Dolphins Leadership Team from 2017-2021 and has been selected for 5 consecutive senior swim teams. After missing selection for Tokyo Paralympics Monique is awaiting her 19th and 20th surgery and hopes to return to swimming in 2022/23.
Monique proudly uses her ‘mermaid fin’ to adapt her training; utilising her body’s ability in the water. She believes she ‘woke up’ for a reason and by sharing her story as a public speaker, hopes to educate about the importance of a creative mindset to secure opportunity from adversity.
Monique is also an advocate for women’s health and mental well-being have been diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis at age 26.