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Maria's Story

Maria is an At Home Care Grant recipient from South Australia.

“A cough assist machine basically does the actions of a cough – it breathes with you but puts a higher pressure into your lungs and then it sucks the air out really quickly – just like what you would do if you were coughing. I need a machine because I don’t have strong enough muscles to do it myself.” Maria – Youngcare At Home Care Grant recipient

Maria was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy when she was just three years old; a condition that effects the muscles that control movement. She was cared for by her parents until she was 30 years old. Now, she lives in her own place with her beloved pets, receiving visits from carers four times a day. Maria keeps busy every day, gardening and cooking in between visits to friends’ houses and the markets. She does not  let her condition slow her down.

While she is trying to live her life to the best of her ability, there are some things that Maria still needs a hand with. For example, the simple act of clearing her throat could be life or death for Maria.

“Everyone around me in winter coughs except for me. Every time I have a cold, I have to hire a cough assist machine and it is $300 a month.”

Although exuberantly expensive, a cough assist machine is vital for Maria to avoid life-threatening infections. The machines are classified as medical equipment and therefore are not funded under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), so when her friend told her about the Youngcare At Home Care Grants, Maria wasted no time in applying.

“My friend knows that I use a cough assist machine and she suggested I apply to Youngcare, it was $10,000 and no one else would give that amount of money.”

Maria was successful in her application and now lives without the fear of financial burden and frequent hospital stays. She is back to living her young life, as we all deserve – even in the winter months!

“Without the cough assist machine I probably would have died, simple as that. It has kept me out of hospital twice already this year. It helps me breathe better, helps me clear my lungs so I can get rid of the pneumonia, it saved my life. It’s a life saver.”

Maria would like to say this to the generous people who have funded the At Home Care Grants…

“How do you thank someone for saving your life? Thank you.”

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