Launch of the biography of Painaustralia’s Founder Dr Michael J. Cousins
On Sunday 25 July 2021, Painaustralia was proud to host the online launch of the biography about our founder, Dr Michael Cousins, Breaking the Pain Barrier: The Extraordinary Life of Dr Michael J Cousins, which was written by his patient Gabriella Kelly-Davies.
Over 130 consumers, health professionals and pain specialists from Australia and around the world were all in attendance to honour a pain medicine pioneer.
Through nearly 50 years of research, Michael Cousins advanced pain treatments such as epidural analgesia and spinal cord stimulation to relieve lower back pain.
Michael genuinely changed the way that Australia responds to pain through his advocacy for chronic pain to be understood as a condition in its own right and access to pain management as a fundamental human right, making the condition visible at a time when the medical profession was not yet ready to accept pain medicine as a legitimate field of practice.
He designed Australia’s National Pain Strategy that several countries replicated, and he was the driving force behind the creation 10 years ago of Painaustralia which developed and is now working with governments and other stakeholders to implement the world-first National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management.
The event was an opportunity not just to highlight the book and all of Dr Cousins' great achievements, but also for the panellists to reflect on how he has influenced them personally as well as professionally.
Author Gabriella Kelly-Davies
The Hon Jillian Skinner
Pain Specialist Dr Marc Russo
Geoff Cousins, Michael's brother
Professor Em Dan Carr
Professor Em John D. Loeser, M.D
Author, Gabriella Kelly-Davies reflected how Michael worked tirelessly to find a way to relieve the pain she was experiencing from her migraines. “I sensed his determination in the way he continued to help me. He never gave up on me, even when my migraines didn’t respond to treatment. When we finally had a small breakthrough, I felt as though Michael had given me my life back”.
Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett said “My experience of Michael is of a very persistent, if not insistent advocate who convinced me that I needed to work in this area”.
During her presentation, former NSW Health Minister the Hon Jillian Skinner stated that “I have been a fan of Michael Cousins for as long as I have been involved with health politics”.
On 24 July 2021, Literary reviewer JE Miller wrote on goodreads.com:
“Within the pages of 'Breaking Through the Pain Barrier', I learned things I have never heard in all my years of suffering from chronic pain and being seen by numerous doctors and specialists. This book has completely transformed the way I think about my own chronic pain. I’m ordering a copy for my doctor.”
Breaking through the Pain Barrier shows how one person with vision, determination and courage can be an agent for change to make a better world for people living with chronic pain. It is available for purchase online through Hawkeye books and in bookstores nationally.
The online book launch is now available to be viewed online here.