Hi my name is Patrick Dillon and I have acquired Spinal Cord Injury which I sustained 10 years ago, and confined me to a wheelchair. My spinal cord injury was due to swinging off a rope into a shallow creek where I broke C4, C5 and C6, which resulted in the loss of movement from the shoulders down. I spent up to 2 years in hospital rehabilitating back into conventional life and society, and then moved into my sister’s house as my home modifications had not yet been completed. Six months later after my own modifications were complete at my parents’ house, I moved home. It took me at least two years to adjust to home life and also back into society, I also had to try to source different types of technology to help assist me in home life and develop my independence.
I was guided by the Spinal Outreach Team (Spot) and Power Mobility on various tech solutions and home support, but due to the number of people sourcing These organisations, sometimes their resources are stretched and things can take a little longer than expected. In saying that though the help received from these organisations was beneficial and help me achieve many things such as study and work which has been a huge contribution to my independence. This process (even though very rewarding to my independence) took many years of time and effort constantly sourcing technology information, medical information and other various sources of knowledge which has been extremely beneficial to achieving many goals and living independently.
I wanted to share my story and experiences with other people with disabilities and provide them with information regarding technology, home living, transport, studying, home care, and even work and found an organisation who shares this passion, Spinal Home Help. Spinal Home Help has a group of peer mentors with similar disabilities, but different stories and experiences which once shared with other clients and patients could be very beneficial to their recovery, and I believe easily shorten their adjustment time to home life and independence. Some of the ideas from Malakai and the team are from people who have been through the same situation and have had similar feelings and can relate to a lot of their struggles. I’m pretty sure if I had this type of support when I was fresh in hospital, I believe I would be where I am now a lot earlier without the months of anxiety, depression and fear for myself and of course my family. This organisation understands not only for the client but for the families and loved ones involved on how traumatic this experience can be. Spinal Home Help supports families and clients and future projects such as the Spinal Home Help TRP/Support Facility would be highly recommended in supporting hospital clients, clients transitioning into home or just clients and families that need support or information to help them in day-to-day life.