Bec has lived with mild Cerebral Palsy her whole life. A mother of three, when her children grew up and moved out, she decided it was time to give back to the community and became a foster Mum. After fostering for a decade, Bec suffered a sudden and life-altering change to her health. Now, she is re-building.
In February 2020, Bec was awarded her foster daughter, Gwen on a full-time basis until she turns 18. Gwen is 11 years old and in the first few months of living with Bec got to celebrate her birthday and have her first Easter Egg hunt. Despite having some paralysis on the left side of her body from the Cerebral Palsy, Bec spent 51 years of her life living completely independently – she loves her children, her foster child and her beautiful Border Collie’s, Neddy and Beau.
“I believe it doesn’t matter what’s wrong with you, you can always give something back as well.”
But on the 25th April, amidst the pandemic, the left side of Bec’s face fell. Whilst she suspected it was a stroke, the doctor’s told her that it was Bell’s Palsy – and something that she did not need to worry about. However, a few weeks later the right side of her face fell also.
Unbeknownst to her or her family, she had suffered two strokes in a short period of time.
Since then, Bec has been discharged home where she now gets around in a wheelchair, has carer’s six times a week to help with her personal cares and undergoes rehabilitation to get her mobility back. The strokes have affected her ability to walk, drive and enjoy her beautiful seaside home on the Yorke Peninsula.
“I have lived with Cerebral Palsy my whole life, but when you lose your abilities at 51, it’s a real shock. To have such a sudden change to your health is horrible – I haven’t even let anyone take a photo of me in the wheelchair yet because people don’t understand, it’s a lot to come to terms with.”
Bec applied to the Youngcare At Home Care Grants for a shaded pergola and covered walkway in her backyard. Due to the coastal nature of her home, the volatility of the weather has severe effects on her ability to go outside; whether it be for socialisation, to get into her car, or to do basic tasks such as taking the dogs outside or enjoying a BBQ in the backyard with her family.
These are the things that give Bec quality of life in her home, which she refers to as her peaceful place, a little haven and allows her to access the community no matter what the weather. This quality life is imperative for Bec; it is the thing that will help her improve her mobility and continue to provide a safe home for her foster child. The alternative is a reality that she does not want to have to face.
“If I didn’t have quality of life here, at 51 years old, I’d be in a nursing home. I would lose my Gwen.”
For Bec, every day is not only a physical battle while she lives with Cerebral Palsy, but it is also a mental battle as she fights through the pain to become fully mobile again. Your help, no matter how big or small, has made a huge difference in her rehabilitation and adapting to her new normal.