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Davida's Story

Tasmanian At Home Care Grant Recipient 

 

At 21 years of age Davida was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. As her symptoms worsened, she retired due to ill-health at 25 and relocated to Tasmania with her mother and her 9 month old son.

Now 36, Davida remains at home with her 9 year old son and 74 year old Mother, who is also her carer. After being relapse-free for 9 years, she suffered a major attack in 2016. At this point, life for Davida and her family changed. Suddenly, she was suffering from falls multiple times a day, and navigating the stairs in her home became impossible.

In 2016, on the way to a GP appointment, Davida fell down the flight of stairs in her home on her knees. What initially seemed to be only superficial bruising and a small cut, turned out to be a deep haematoma lurking under the surface which, after years of treatment, is still not fully healed.

“Just from falling down the stairs in 2016, I haven’t healed and have this wound. I haven’t been able to go swimming, I’ve had to keep it dry and have the nurse come twice a week.”

It was because of this relapse that questions began to arise of where she could go and what she could do next. Having never suffered such a terrible fall before, Davida’s GP asked her how she was going to manage at home with a mother in her 70’s, a young son and the inability to be able to come and go from her home as she pleased. What seemed to be the only option appeared starkly – an aged care facility near Davida’s home.

“It was like my life flashed before my eyes, and I thought ‘am I ever going to get better?’”

With Davida no longer able to navigate the stairs, she found there to be a real problem in trying to work out how to safely get out of her house. At times, she would slide down the stairs on her bottom with her 74 year old Mother holding her feet.

Thanks to the $5,950 Youngcare At Home Care Grant, funded by Suncorp, Davida was able to have a stair lift installed in her home which has enabled her to safely come and go from her house as she pleases.

“The stair lift is brilliant, it can face the passage way and it twists around to face side on, so that when I get to the top, it’s the perfect position for getting off at the other end. It’s very secure.”

Having spent a lot of time in rehabilitation facilities and hospitals over the years, being able to live in her own home with her family is so important to Davida.

“Family keep you connected to life. I remember when I was having the relapse; it felt like I was fading out. It’s like a fizzling, like a kind of dying, I was still going but… [my son] needs me,” she said,
“It’s magnificent to be at home. It gives you freedom to be in your own house and to be able to manage your health that way where possible, it’s a wonderful feeling.”

To the people who funded the grant, Davida says –

“They gave me back my life. They helped me to stay independent rather than end up in a care facility, so it’s fantastic. The Youngcare At Home Care Grant has made such a difference to me and my friends. It is so amazing, so thank you.”

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