JAKE Davey is performing again two months after emergency back surgery threatened to leave the country musician a paraplegic.
On Wednesday the 27-year-old returned to his Taree home after two months at Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital and Taree's Mayo Private Hospital.
Then on Friday night Davey played his first gig in three months at the Seabreeze Hotel in South West Rocks.
In August the 2022 Tamworth Country Music Festival Starmaker finalist underwent surgery at the John Hunter for spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the space inside the backbone which places pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
During the surgery it was discovered that Davey's cauda equina nerves in his lower back had been compressed for at least 24 hours and were no longer responding.
This left Davey numb from the waist down and unable to walk.
However, a commitment to daily physiotherapy has seen Davey make impressive strides forward.
"I've been able to be independent on crutches, which is pretty crazy, and I've got about 20 to 30 metres in me without crutches, like waddling, which is insane," Davey said.
"It's a mix of a balance and strength game at the moment.
"I'm working hard each day to learn my new body and my new legs and seeing little wins every single day."
Davey is 61 days post-operation and his doctors believe further improvements can be made.
"I still have a month of serious recovery and then the next three months will be a little bit slower, but I'm still looking forward to regaining strength and dealing with the numbness and loss of sensation," he said.
The singer-songwriter is unsure when he will be able to return to working full-time at his music production studio.
A GoFundMe page was launched by his best friend Savannah Black in September to cover the loss of income from his small business and it raised more than $24,000.
However, Friday night's set for the Songwriter Sessions in South West Rocks was a major leap forward.
"It'll be the sixth instalment of the Songwriter Sessions and we've sold out every single one over the past two years, so there was no way in hell I was gonna cancel," he said before the show.
"So wish me luck."
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