“I don’t want to go home!”

These are the words I cried as Ted, my husband & I drove out of Sargood on Collaroy. I was the recipient of a Colin Apps Scholarship from the Sargood Foundation, and how appreciative I am!

I am a 74-year-old incomplete paraplegic who had an epidural abscess in April 2005 and spent 6 months in hospital with many problems. I have had 3 major operations since to encapsulate the arachnoid cysts,  the last operation was unsuccessful. As I am over 65, I do not qualify for the NDIS and consequently I do not receive such benefits.

As soon as I entered Sargood I marveled at the beautiful scenery and the décor. But mostly I felt “SAFE” with all the experts in the various fields of my injuries, the first time I have ever felt like this in almost 15 years. My 84-year-old husband is my carer and he relaxed immediately and the responsibility he always feels was lifted.

Every day there was 2-3 activities with “state of the art” equipment, and I participated in them all. The qualified  staff accompanied me at  Surfing, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Beach Bashing, Ocean Pool swimming, Sailing and I had two sessions with Wade in the gym. Annalise took Ted & me to the “Guan Wei” exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum and we also tried our hand at ceramics. On Friday night we had “Sunset drinks” where we were entertained and mixed with the other residents.

What a week! I was exhilarated!

The atmosphere of the staff was amazing with all there to assist me in any way, and always with a smile.

My aim was to go surfing and Seb gave me a wetsuit and “WoW! I was surfing at Collaroy! I will be forever grateful to be able to do this again……a dream come true!

Thank you to all who made this happen. Originally Dimity Cooper, Social Worker at POWH and Dr Arora, Rehab Physician, who nominated me for the Colin Apps Scholarship. To the members of the Scholarship Committee, please accept my gratitude at this wonderful week of pleasure. I loved every minute!

Sargood on Collaroy and the staff, you are amazing!
– Lynn Smith