As told by Nikki Jones wife of Anthony Jones
Life can change in just an instant. And for Anthony, Nikki and Ella it has been a challenging journey.
At 48 years old, Anthony had a life-be-in-it attitude – he loved having his friends over and, having worked in the wine industry, he enjoyed going out for a good meal with his wife Nikki.
In 2004, Anthony started to complain about headaches and feeling generally unwell. Thinking Anthony might be feeling a bit fed-up with work and needing a break, Nikki organised a holiday to Bali.
Their trip to paradise was short-lived when Anthony collapsed and ended up in the Bali International Hospital. After multiple tests and scans, the doctors discovered Anthony’s headaches were a result of a melanoma tumour on his brain – unusually associated with a melanoma he had removed from his ear years before.
From this point on, Anthony and Nikki’s lives were never the same.
Anthony needed radiation treatment and as a result, acquired Radiation Neurosis and needed more surgery. Anthony’s right frontal lobe was removed; the area of the brain that controls short term memory, initiation and motivation, resulting in Anthony needing 24 hour supervision and care.
This immediately put a huge strain on Nikki, who works full time.
“I have become the glue that holds everything together, while having to work 4 days a week and look after Anthony and look after Ella and the house and deal with business debts and lawyers. I’m not used to being a carer. I’m used to living our lives together.”
The Youngcare At Home Care Grant came at a critical moment. Nikki used the grant for much-needed respite for herself and Ella to take some time away, just the two of them.
“Words can’t describe how thankful we are for the grant, and the little bit of oxygen that it gives to families that just need to be nurtured in a really really tough time” said Nikki.
The mental health and well-being of carers and family members is vital for them to remain caring for their loved one with enthusiasm and compassion. This short time away allowed Nikki and Ella to regroup and refocus, enabling them to maintain a healthy relationship with Anthony and each other.
With continuous care and support, Anthony’s doctors predict his health will continue to improve. For now, Nikki is happy to celebrate the small wins.
Thanks to the generous support of GIO; Youngcare At Home Care Grant sponsors, Nikki has enough funds for more respite for herself and Ella, allowing them both to live young and fulfilling lives, and ensuring Anthony is receiving quality and dignified care.