It's hard to find real life story examples online unless you buy the book.

Now, I'm never going to dissuade you from buying a book...

Heaven forbid.

But what I thought I'd do here is give you an example of the life story I ghostwrote for a wonderful gentleman by the name of Bob McDermant. His was a life well-lived and he gave back to the community in such a huge way.

Here's his story (or parts thereof).

Example Of A Personal Life Story

‘Training? We’ve tried all that rubbish, it doesn’t work,’ the Superintendent said.

Fellow ambulance officer Arthur Deoberitz and I exchanged glances. He was as frustrated as I was. 


This was the standard response we got from senior officers, the Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigade (QATB) committee and the Miscellaneous Workers’ Union whenever we brought up the subject of training.

The Ambo

This is the opening scene of The Ambo, a book I ghostwrote for Bob McDermant,  pioneer and innovator of the Queensland Ambulance Service.

When he joined the Ambulance in 1947, Bob expected to undergo training for his role as an ‘ambo,’ but received none. Furthermore, the equipment was antiquated and the procedures were based on a manual that hadn’t been updated in 50 years.

So he and Arthur started to push for training. They discussed it with their peers as well as their superiors. And the response was always the same.

A brick wall of apathy and resistance.

It was all due to the fear of change – and in the case of his superiors, the fear of being usurped in their roles.

I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been for Bob and Arthur.  But they didn’t quit. For ten years, they continued the campaign for training. 
The Ambo Bob McDermant Book Cover

Success At Last

Then one day, a breakthrough.

Arthur called in to see Bob at work after a Union meeting.

‘They’ve decided to let us go ahead with the training,’ he said.

Bob laughed. ‘Good joke.’

‘No, it’s true.’

Bob was dumbfounded. Ten years of frustration over, just like that!

But being given permission to run a training course was just the beginning of another long and challenging road…

Ten years is a long time to keep up the momentum. I remember asking Bob,’ Did you ever think about giving up?’

‘No, never,’ he said. ‘It was too important an issue.’

I guess that’s the secret to perseverance. An unshakeable belief that whatever you’re aiming for is worth all the hardships and obstacles. 


Because when you keep getting knockbacks and you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, your belief is all you have. 

Writing Bob's Life Story

I thoroughly enjoyed writing Bob’s story, though we had some initial challenges in setting up the process.

As Bob was visually impaired and didn’t use a computer, I couldn’t email him the story for him to read to give his feedback, which is my usual process with clients.

So we did it chapter by chapter. As I finished each chapter, I would read it out to him, and he would tell me about any necessary changes or corrections.

Bob’s son Greg also printed it out for him in large letters that he could read on his magnifying machine at his leisure, in case he’d missed anything in the reading-out process.  

This worked well, and I often joked with Bob about keeping up with his ‘homework.’

As Bob’s wife Gwen had passed away a few months prior, my visits to him to obtain the information for his book and his ‘homework’ were a welcome distraction from his loneliness.

A New Lease Of Life

More than that, it gave him a new lease of life. When he finally held the published book in his hand, tears of happiness streamed down his face.

This was a dream come true, the culmination of many years of trying to find someone to write his story.

Publishing the book was also a challenge. That exercise eventually led to me writing a post called How Do I Publish My Memoir?

But there was more to come. Bob held a book launch at the aged care facility where he lived. It was a great success, attended by friends, family and many ambulance officials.


After a write-up of the event in an aged care magazine, word got around to the mainstream media.
ABC 730 Logo Ghostwriter

A Dream Come True

Someone did some research and discovered that at 96, Bob was the oldest debut author in Australia, which was news to Bob and me.

Then the requests for interviews came rolling in, and his story was featured in newspapers, magazines and on radio. He even scored a segment on national current affairs program 7.30.

This was beyond Bob’s wildest dreams, and he was over the moon. For me, this was the most satisfying part of writing his life story – helping him make his dream come true, getting his story out into the world, so that he received the acknowledgment he deserved.

Your Own Life Story Example

Is it your dream to tell your life story? If so, I’d love to chat to you about it. Please click the button below and let's start talking about your life story.

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