Finsure exec returns to work after tragic accident

Industry helped raise over $400,000 to assist recovery

Finsure exec returns to work after tragic accident


By Ryan Johnson

Finsure executive Phillip Donaldson has returned to work just over a year after a tragic car accident in New Zealand left him paralysed from the neck down and resulted in the loss of a leg. Donaldson, one of Finsure’s longest-serving employees, joined the company in 2015.

In April last year, while on holiday in New Zealand, his former homeland, Donaldson was involved in a severe vehicle rollover near Auckland. He sustained significant spinal cord injuries and was fortunate to survive.

After spending 10 months in the hospital and undergoing extensive rehabilitation, Donaldson, now wheelchair-bound, has resumed his role as the NSW business development manager in Finsure's white label division, Finsure Loans.

During his recovery, Donaldson also married his long-time partner, Kathleen, in a beautiful ceremony held on the grounds of Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

Finsure CEO Simon Bednar said Donaldson has shown remarkable courage and resilience and continues to do an “amazing job despite all the challenges he has faced”.

“Phillip Donaldson is an incredible person, and he has shown unbelievable bravery and determination to try and deal with this devastating situation,” Bednar said.

“He has been aided by some wonderful support from his wife Kathleen, his family, as well as the broking community which rallied to support him with more than $400,000 raised through a GoFundMe page to provide much needed financial assistance for his recovery and ongoing care.”

An outpouring of support from industry

One month after the 1970s Datsun rolled over while Donaldson was in the back seat, his then-fiancé Kathleen created the GoFundMe page in a plea for help.

“There’s no easy way to say this, Phil is paralysed. He has suffered significant damage to his spinal cord, specifically at the C4 vertebrae and has a badly damaged leg,” she said in the initial post.

“Whilst we will never give up hope, the devastating prognosis at this stage is that Phil will be paralysed from the neck down.”

Three weeks and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Kathleen - and Donaldson himself - provided an update. 

“Firstly, can I just say from the bottom of our hearts, the support you have given us has been overwhelming. Every time I see a new donation and a message of support on GoFundMe, I burst out in tears,” Kathleen said.

The GoFundMe post said, “One of the little miracles that has occurred over the last 30 days, is it appears Phil still has some feeling in his arms.”

“He’s working overtime with the rehab team, but it appears the spinal cord still has some connections and (thank God) it’s what they call in the medical profession an incomplete spinal cord injury.”

“This unfortunately doesn’t mean Phil is not paralysed, but over time he has hope that he can perhaps gain limited movement in his arms.”

Bednar said much of the money raised for Phillip came directly from the broker community, lenders and even other aggregation groups, which “says a lot about the industry we work in”.

Donaldson’s Finsure journey continues

Donaldson said he was overwhelmed by the support given to him by family, friends and Finsure since the accident.

“I don’t know if I could have survived without the support of Kathleen, my parents, the Finsure family and my many friends in the broker community,” he said.

“It’s still very challenging as I only have limited use of my body, but it’s great to be back at work and that was something I could not have imagined happening a year ago.”

During his career with Finsure, Donaldson has been a joint state manager for NSW before moving to his position as BDM for Finsure Loans.

“It has been an honour for me to be part of Finsure’s amazing growth since joining the group almost a decade ago,” Donaldson said.

“It’s exciting to be back on the team and I am looking forward to contributing to the further development of Finsure Loans. There’s still a long road ahead with my rehabilitation but being back at work among the Finsure family is a crucially important part of my recovery.”

While he has just begun working again, Donaldson has already been on the circuit inspiring others.

Donaldson had wowed the industry and broker partners at Finsure's inaugural PD day of the year back in March.

“The true highlight for our team was reconnecting with our esteemed friend and industry legend, Phillip Donaldson,” the post by FINSTREET said.

“Learning that he's back in action with the Finsure team, passionately supporting brokers and driving growth in the industry, is truly inspiring, and great news for the industry. Onward and upward, together!”

What do you think about Donaldson’s triumphant return to work? Comment below.

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