27 Jan When wonderful meets amazing
In 2006, mother of three, Gail Turney, had just finished collecting her children from school when she collapsed on the floor of her Cammaray home.
Gail still can’t remember anything about the following month, but when she woke up confused in hospital, she learned she had had a stroke and could no longer walk.
“Doctors told me I’d have to use a wheelchair forever, but I was incredibly determined,” remembers Gail of the incident.
“Over the next six months I worked hard to get up out of that chair and take a few steps. Within 18 months I was discharged from a rehabilitation centre and allowed to go home to my family. My world was completely different from then on and I had to learn and adapt.”
Gail has limited mobility and relies on a scooter to get out of her home. She has also permanently lost the use of her left arm.
“Going back home and not knowing about what support and help there was out there was pretty confusing. I thought I would just have to muddle through. When a friend mentioned I get in touch with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, I thought ‘why not?’,” says Gail.
That’s when she was contacted by Marcia Shapira, from Uniting Local Area Coordination Transition Services in Northern Sydney who has been by Gail’s side every step of the way.
“Marcia has been great. She helped me navigate the NDIS and told me of how to apply for help and where to go to apply for it. Off the back of her guidance and through my NDIS Plan I get regular dinners delivered and help with cleaning my home and keeping on top of my garden.
“Probably the best bit of it all is that I’ve met amazing people like Marcia.”
And it seems the feeling is mutual. “I’m so pleased to have been able to help reduce Gail’s stress and support her to connect with regular services for help. I’m a people person and proud of what I do. It’s a bonus that I get to meet wonderful people along the way.”
Gail leads an active life in her local community and is working as a door-to-door cosmetics sales person, with the help of her mobility scooter.
Yesterday, the Northern Sydney District Local Area Coordination Transition Services team was awarded an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony Community Award by North Sydney Council for their work with people like Gail in the local area.
The Uniting LAC team in Northern Sydney has initiated a range of projects to get the NDIS word out into the local community, including community drop-in consultations, workshops and expos.