In 2013, when Perth based Australian Navy marine technician Brent Biglin was discharged after ten years in his role due to injuries sustained while serving, his life was pretty tough. Little did he know it was about to get a whole lot tougher.
During his enlisted time Brent had been deployed on both peacekeeping and operational service and from 2013 he worked as a civilian contractor providing capability to the RAN ANZAC Class warships.
But in early 2019, Brent was diagnosed with the very rare autoimmune condition of Guillian-Barre syndrome. A condition that causes the immune system to attack the nervous system and in extreme cases can cause full body paralysis and respiratory failure. Sadly, that included Brent.
One Saturday morning he was out conducting SSAA range officer practical training and a few days later he was in Perth’s Fiona Stanley hospital neurology department and paralysed from the neck down. Respiratory failure followed and he was placed in an induced coma and he experienced graphic hallucinations that he describes as “extremely unpleasant”. He can recall hearing Doctors telling his wife and mother that it was unlikely that he would survive 12 hours due not only to the condition but complications associated with it including pneumonia, kidney failure, a staph infection, one collapsed lung and the other two thirds collapsed.
Two weeks later, he eventually awoke but remained in an ICU on life support. A difficult period lay ahead. Unable to talk and with paralysis to his brain stem, he suffered double vision and hearing loss. Incredibly, he was completely mentally aware throughout the entire ordeal.
Brent was told he would remain in hospital for 12 to 18 months and would not live a normal life for quite some time. Amazingly, he had the inner strength to set himself a goal…a goal that would see him out of hospital in less than 100 days!
A tough road lay ahead for Brent and this is where his love for the Beretta brand helped to motivate him. Throughout his rehabilitation, his primary focus was on recommencing a normal life with his family and get back out shooting field pistol and train in practical shooting with his Beretta APX 9mm.
Brent had to relearn almost everything. Walking, feeding himself, showering, holding something in his hand. On day 87 he was discharged from hospital, holding his head high. Incredibly defying Doctors and hospital staff alike.
One of the first things he did when it was safe to do so was to head to the range with his mates for a shoot. Brent even had an occupational therapist assist him with regaining strength in his hands to safely operate his beloved APX. Brent said “It may seem strange to have this as a goal for such a major event in my life but getting better and using my APX out on the range was a major driving force for me. I am currently saving up to install an optic on this pistol. I hope to put a Burris Fast Fire 3 on top to finish this pistol off. This goal got me better.”
He added “I can’t express how important Beretta has been in my life and I wish I could be a part of the Beretta family as you are now a part of mine”.
Brent, you inspire us all at Beretta. The Burris Fast Fire 3 is on us mate. We hope it enhances your experience with your APX and thanks for sharing your story. We are pleased to hear that Brent has made an almost full recovery and is back to work providing capability to our Navy forces.
If you would like to help Brent with his significant medical expenses, his family and friends have initiated a Go Fund Me campaign and you can donate at https://au.gofundme.com/f/brent-biglin-healing-journey-support-fundraiser.