In their 22 years together Janet and Vickie had never been apart, that is until the events of Friday November 14th 2014 changed everything. That night as Vickie lay unable to move, having fallen down the stairs, Janet knew that things were going to be bad.
The following 434 days were an absolute blur for Janet – keeping up with full time work, followed by daily visits to Vickie who was in hospital for 9 weeks and then rehab for another full year. Janet shouldered all the responsibility of keeping everything running, caring for Vickie and trying to make her stay bearable, as well looking after family and pets, working a 40 hour working week and finding a new, accessible home.
Eventually Vickie was able to return home and through the generous support of the Men of League Foundation, Janet and Vickie were able to enjoy their first break at Sargood.
“It was the first time in years that I was just able to relax, normally I’m switched on all the time, but at Sargood, because I could really trust the staff, I was able to just stop…and be me!”
Vickie is an amazing cook and Janet enjoys seeing her use the adaptive kitchen at Sargood, making good use of the height adjustable kitchen bench and being able to move around the spacious area. Both Vickie and Janet have made some terrific and lasting friendships through their stays at Sargood, says Janet.
“Nobody else can quite understand what it’s like to have someone you love live with a spinal cord injury, day in and day out. It’s the emotional strain that we partners struggle with, so it’s great to be able to connect with others in the same situation at Sargood, we can learn from each other and share some of the responsibility.”
Understanding the immense benefits of these supportive and rewarding connections with the families and friends of those with SCI has led Janet to join the SCIA peer support team in Sydney to work to help better support those partners and families of people living with SCI.
When Janet and Vickie stay here, they really enjoy the chance to participate together in activities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy in their day to day life – they have loved being able to use the adaptive equipment and support of the wonderful staff to go beach walking, whale watching and snorkelling or even just floating together in the pool at Collaroy beach. But also, it’s the quiet times that matter too,
It’s an incredible feeling to be able to just sit in the sunshine and read a book, to have a moment alone and to know that Vickie is enjoying her own time and being cared for by the brilliant, friendly and special staff here at SargoodJanet, partner of Vickie