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From limitations to possibilities: Judith’s story of resilience

These days, life is looking a lot brighter for Mackay resident, Judith Heel. But, not too long ago, Judith was struggling to maintain her independence and concerned about her ability to engage in social events.

Judith and her husband run a business which requires him to work away from home, while she completes the administration work. However, following a car accident, Judith experienced multiple traumatic amputations, which greatly impacted her mobility and lifestyle.

As a result, she needed support to ensure her ongoing mobility and eliminate safety issues within the home, plus assistance with maintaining the home and yard, and to ensure her safety when accessing the community.

Judith was also concerned about her ability to socialise outside the home, an important part of all our lives. Understandably, she didn’t want a lack of mobility to impact her home or social life, so she investigated support and the assistive technology that would help her maintain her independence.

Judith also has a teenage son Ryan, who is a NDIS recipient with high needs, and he requires assistance with intensive intervention and help engaging with the education system.

Providing options, support and assistance

When Judith first contacted Feros Care in 2017, she was connected with one of our Local Area Coordinators (LAC), who became her partner in the community. A detailed planning conversation regarding the preparation of a funding proposal was initially undertaken. This included sharing information about the evidence required for the NDIS funding proposal and how the funding can be utilised.

Judith says Feros Care connected her with an “amazing” Occupational Therapist (OT), who guided and supported her with requesting access to assistive technology. This included the equipment she needed, the home and vehicle modifications necessary to maintain her independence, and the appropriate support within her home to maintain safety.

Addressing ongoing challenges

Judith had initially been able to move short distances around the home and community with the use of crutches and an artificial leg. However, due to scarring, she became unable to use the artificial leg and was solely reliant on crutches. A manual wheelchair was introduced, but Judith developed arthritis in her shoulder requiring a second person to push the wheelchair, again limiting her independence.

With the assistance of Romina Bettega, Judith’s LAC at Feros Care, the team successfully secured NDIS funding to purchase an electric wheelchair which has enabled Judith to move around independently.

The next challenge was getting the electric wheelchair into the car. Due to its weight, the wheelchair required two people to lift it onto the roof racks of the vehicle, which meant Judith could only go out when assistance was available.

Romina again guided Judith through the funding application process, including having the car inspected and approved for the modifications. Funds were secured to modify Judith’s car with a hoist that lifts the wheelchair onto the roof racks.

Judith is ecstatic to have her independence restored and to be able to go out to the shops or a social function without requiring assistance.

Assistance for Ryan

Romina assists Judith to access the intensive intervention son Ryan requires, including mental health support, psychology and occupational therapy (OT) support.

With Romina’s support, Judith has continued to advocate for Ryan in the education system to ensure he fulfills his capacity, and successfully secured his place at a school that is more suited to his needs.

Romina organised the OT to visit Ryan’s school to help him settle in and establish a new routine. Ryan has since re-engaged with his education and, at the end of last year, received an award for improvement in all areas of school life!

Enabling a better life

Judith says, “I feel that the support I have received has been fantastic, and very clear with understanding NDIS funding. I have clarification on what I can and cannot access through my LAC and feel that I have a better grasp of NDIS. If I didn’t have NDIS, I would not have been able to access the supports that I require, and Ryan would not be able to improve with building his independence and his capacity. Ryan is really happy with his learning and development. My OT has been amazing with supporting and understanding my needs. Romina, my LAC, has assisted with many questions and the guidance I needed throughout my journey.”

Whenever Judith requires assistance or guidance with NDIS, education, support or funding, Romina has been there to provide assistance, especially with every curve ball thrown Judith’s way. It is this assistance that has now enabled Judith to continue running the family business and enjoy spending quality time with her family, especially the baby grandson she adores.

Romina says, “Judith is an amazing, inspirational lady with a great sense of humour. I’m so pleased she can continue to be a busy, self-employed and independent woman, and keep doing what she loves for her family. It’s just incredible.”

At Feros Care, we’re proud to help people with disability live healthy, fulfilled and connected lives.

Click here to find out more about how we support people throughout our LAC office locations.

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