At 57 years of age, Oakey resident Jackie Rogers suffered a stroke during open heart surgery and went from living an independent life at home with her family and pets to living in an aged care community.
“I was told I’d never be able to live in my home alone again and look after myself. It was really hard. Overnight I lost my home, my possessions, my community and the hardest part – my independence. I had the clinical care and support that I needed in the aged care homes I lived in, but I was in a share-room and at 57 it’s not the right home for younger people living with disability.
“For many years I felt thrown on the scrap heap and was very depressed. That was hard for me as I’d spent 28 years working as a mental health nurse and assisting people with their depression. The universe had come full circle and I was struggling, right up until I moved here.
“I kept fighting for myself and when the opportunity came to take one of the new apartments at WesleyCare Wynnum, I was so excited. It’s been a dream come true. I feel so happy.
“I have my own home again, my own front door and key. I’ve been able to get some of my special possessions from my old house and decorate the apartment. My family can come and visit me whenever they can, anytime of the day or night, just like it’s my own home in the community.
“It’s the simple things I love being able to do again, like cooking a meal and washing up in my own kitchen and sleeping in, the things we take for granted every day.
“I’ve got a new rescue cat, Sophie, who I adore. I’ve started going shopping on my own again. I can have help from staff when I need it, but they aren’t here all the time checking on me. I can buzz and get help with hanging out the washing or cooking. I have freedom and independence again, but I feel so supported at the same time - I am so grateful. I have learnt that it is OK to accept help.
“For people living with a disability, it’s not just about making sure we have the clinical care and support to stay healthy and safe, it’s about being able to live like everyone else – in our own home, with choices about what we do in a day. With support we have hope for the future.”
Jackie is a resident at our new specialist disability community, WesleyCare Wynnum.
Amy and Jesse Crofts were your average family, thrilled to learn that their one-year old son Asher was going to become a big brother. Then, in an instant, their lives were changed forever. Their unborn baby was diagnosed with anencephaly – a condition that prevents the normal development of the brain and the bones of the skull, resulting in almost all babies dying before birth or within a few hours or days after birth.
“It was such a straight forward pregnancy, so we were really surprised when we received the diagnosis,” Amy says. “But things changed in that moment. We found ourselves in a situation we had not prepared for.”
Hummingbird House lifted the Crofts family up and gave them the precious time they needed to love and cherish their daughter Gracie, who was born at 38 weeks.
“Before we knew about Hummingbird House we were both anxious. We had to think about all these things we weren’t equipped to think about. We had no idea about palliative care,” Amy reflects.
Because of Hummingbird House Amy, Jesse, Asher and Gracie’s grandparents and great-granddad got to meet Gracie. Got to hold her. Got to extend their time with her.
“Hummingbird House allowed me to acknowledge Gracie as my daughter. I remember seeing her and thinking she looks just like her brother. She is a part of me. I was able to acknowledge that she was here, and that she was my daughter,” reflects Amy.
When asked about what they want the world to know about Gracie, Jesse replies “Gracie mattered. Her life mattered. All children matter.”