Wednesday, March 2, 2011

BoyCriedWolf - he didn’t

Two years ago, travelling through Vietnam on a family holiday, Antonio (Toni) Ianella suffered a stroke. He was 38 with three young children and spent three days in intensive care before being moved to a ward and flown home to Melbourne 11 days later.
His stroke was the result of an undiagnosed AVM (arteriovenous malformation) and occurred as a bleed on his brain stem.
He is lucky to be alive: “I was told only one in five people survive a bleed in the base of their brain,” Toni says.
Back in Melbourne Toni spent time at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Sunshine Hospital in intensive three-month rehabilitation.
The former construction site project manager found he had to reassess the life he had led. With some cognitive, hearing, speech and mobility changes post-stroke the construction site job was no longer viable.
“I had my chosen career pretty much taken away from me.  Really, the next step was to work on what I could do and what I was still passionate about.”
For Toni that was music. He had always written and played songs and had a string of projects that he dabbled in – all around music. No longer able to play an instrument, he turned his energy to writing songs and forming a band – BoyCriedWolf.
“I had to think about the things I love and that has always been music,” he says.
“Music is about making magic out of emotion.”
The band has been successful – winning a Battle of the Bands competition last year, the small winnings of which has allowed an album to be recorded – and is not the only project Toni works on in his modest home recording studio.
“It’s been two years now, a relapse last July and I have to accept this (his recovery) is going to stick around for a while. I have to work around it. I’ve done a web design course and am focusing on family and getting better in small steps.”
To hear Toni’s music click here.