Patterson returned home from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with two brand new gold medals to add to her collection.

Affectionately known as Lucky, she has cerebral palsy, early-onset Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and micrographia which has paralysed much of her left side. However, she has never let the barriers put in front of her get her down by changing her disability into an ability.

"Having a disability, I think you learn pretty quickly to be resilient and to look for opportunities and accept the challenges placed before you," Patterson said.

"I guess, I always had an athlete mindset from a very young age, in terms of not giving up and navigating tricky situations," she added.

The 19-year-old started swimming when she was about five years old to relieve the pain she suffered from muscle stiffness from her cerebral palsy.

"Swimming lessons were more fun to me than extensive physiotherapy and massage," she said.

Swimming allowed Patterson to stretch all her tendons and muscles, which reduced day-to-day muscle spasticity but it wasn't until she was watching the 2012 Paralympics as a 12-year-old that she was inspired to take up her next goal.

"I wanted to become a Paralympian," Patterson said.

"I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I stepped up my training, started eating well and took a whole new approach to life.

"I am sure that my family thought I was joking but they were happy to assist me with my goal and dream," she said.

She slowly began climbing the competitive swimming ladder and while she lost more races than she won her mum just kept saying, “Sweetheart stick with it, you will get there eventually". 

Patterson goal to become a Paralympian was on track as she was selected as Australia's Wild Card for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Paralympic Team. She was up on the block shaking with nerves but she knew what she had to do when she jumped in the water and at the age of 14, she won a bronze medal in the 100 S8 Freestyle.

Four years later, older and wiser, her dream of becoming a Paralympian became a reality as she competed in Rio where she not only took home two gold, three silver and a bronze medal but set two World Records. 

But it isn't always easy being a para-athlete but having grown up facing adversity Patterson says there are a couple of words she wants young and aspiring Paralympians to know. 

"Some advice that I would share with aspiring Paralympians would be to never give up," she said.

"There are no limits and one of my favourite mottos is to turn the word can't into can. 

"Most importantly, don't make excuses, own everything that you do in life whether it goes well or not, then you will be able to grow from those experiences," Patterson added.