NSW COVID-19 Information

Road to recovery

Muswellbrook

Written by Tracey, wife of NDIS participant Stephen

Stephen has hemiplegia and aphasia caused by a stroke, resulting in reduced mobility, speech loss and low confidence. Last year, through an individualised NDIS plan arranged with the help of LAC Janice Lawrence, Stephen had access to the support that he needed to continue his recovery.

His goal was to gain independence. The big one was the bathroom. We got our ensuite bathroom modified and it was wonderful.

It used to take me a full hour to get him washed and dressed. These days he only needs a little bit of help washing his hair and getting his compression stockings on.

Also key to gaining independence was increasing his mobility and speech skills. Prior to his stroke, Stephen was an avid swimmer. With help from the local physiotherapist, he got back in the pool. He is now able to swim laps with his hemiplegic arm.

Furthermore, Stephen has worked with a speech therapist to regain his speech. In 2018, he participated in a national speech therapy trial run by Swinburne University, an intensive speech therapy program over two weeks.

Without the support workers who could transport him to these sessions, he would have missed out.

Through this intervention and weekly speech therapy, Stephen and I advocated for
fellow stroke survivors and their families at the Stroke Foundation lecture series. There were over 150 people in attendance, including stroke survivors, carers, allied health professionals and doctors. Stephen said five sentences with minimal assistance.

Stephen’s growing independence also extended to our family. I picked up an extra day of work and arranged enough support for Stephen, to go on holiday.

Despite Stephen falling ill and requiring hospitalisation later in 2018, the plan demonstrates
flexibility:

Once he has fully recovered from all of his illness and surgery, we will be getting
back in the pool.

A comprehensive and well-developed plan allowed Stephen to reach his goals on his journey to recovery, and provided hope and opportunities to both him and our family.