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Neill's Story

A healthy 41 year old father of two young girls, Neill loved motorbike riding and loved to be in the kitchen cooking with his partner, Lianne. He was an IT guru, working for the Department of Education developing an information management strategy when one day his life changed in an instant.

On his way to a meeting in the city, Neill’s heart stopped beating, causing a lack of oxygen to his brain and he fell directly backwards. This lack of oxygen caused a serious brain injury. After being in a coma for 3 long weeks the prognosis was not good – doctors predicted he would either not survive or remain in a vegetative state long-term.

But Neill is a fighter

“From the very first moment, Neill showed every sign of not wanting to give up.” – Lianne, Neill’s wife

She stood by his side, encouraging every stage of progress and celebrating each small win. But the journey is a long one, and it is tough. With Neill now needing a wheelchair to get around, he was no longer able to get up and down the stairs into his home. They renovated their garage into a bedroom and they sleep and shower there.

The thing that Lianne found most difficult was watching her partner live a separate life, isolated from the normality of family life. She hated seeing her partner miss out on the things he loved, like joining in cooking. Cooking was part of his identity.  Lianne and Neill dreamed of the day that he could get from the garage up the stairs and into the family home where he could socialise and have some normality.

So with this in mind, Lianne applied for a Youngcare Home Soon Grant to fund the cost of an access ramp to enable Neill to freely move between the sleeping and living areas into the house. After 16 months separated from his loved ones, in hospital and rehabilitation, Neill is now living back at home with his partner.

Lianne and Neill completing rehabilitation

“He comes inside and watches cooking now which is motivating him to get up and about. He has been going to hydrotherapy and walking class. He is also able to eat properly now and have a beer!” – Lianne

It’s with thanks to Home Soon Grant sponsor, Suncorp that Neill was provided with the funding he needed to modify his home and be close to his family again.

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