Tony South

25 May

Thank you for briefing me on your initiative in working towards the establishment of the Home Support Centre and in particular quality lifestyle accommodation and mentor services for rural Queenslanders that incur quadriplegia and paraplegia, and are required to spend significant time and expense to reside close to the Brisbane Spinal Injury Unit prior to being able to return home and on subsequent visits.

Their ongoing support needs and nurturing once they return to their country homes is critical to their successful adaption to the challenges imposed by their disability and remote location. It is also critical to their capacity to remain at home and not constantly return to the Brisbane Spinal Injury Unit for further care due to ongoing medical complications.

When I was shot and became a paraplegic 64 years ago in country NSW there was no spinal injury units so I spent 12 moths in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in an adult ward where there was no understanding of management of my condition. I was sent home with no after care, no social security, a house that was not wheelchair accessible and no mentoring or support services. Many of the physical complications that I am experiencing today could have been avoided had I received support and nurturing from people that had spinal cord injury and learnt from their experiences.

I fully support the initiatives of Spinal Home Help and the accommodation facilities they are planning to provide. I have met, over the years, many guys and girls form the country that have experienced life changing and challenging spinal cord injury. The quality of their lives and their outlook on their futures would be significantly improved by the availability of the nurturing and support services proposed. Also, the ongoing costs to the government as a result of complications resulting from lack of adequate support and knowledge in managing their condition would be significantly reduced.

Yours faithfully,