Jason is a NIISQ participant who sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident in August 2017.
“NIISQ have supported me through the whole journey so far. My Support Planners have become someone who can listen and know about some of the challenges I may be experiencing at the time,” Jason said.
Following his discharge from hospital, Jason chose to temporarily move back in with his parents, something that he thought would never happen in his lifetime.
“I felt I needed to get as much support as I could after the accident, and I wanted to be at home with the people who knew me,” he said.
Jason’s parents chose to provide integral daily support for their son when he needed it. During the early stages of his recovery, NIISQ funded respite for his family and this also helped Jason to work on improving his independence. He also received funding for social support services to assist with community access to and from health appointments and to and from the church he attends.
Jason benefited from the treatment, care and support provided through NIISQ, including physiotherapy to help with endurance and conditioning and a gym membership to undergo an exercise physiology program. This has helped him to manage the fatigue associated with his brain injury. NIISQ also funded multiple blocks of speech therapy, skype-based CPAP therapy and CPAP machine rental.
“My speech has really improved. You have to learn everything again after a brain injury,” Jason said.
NIISQ helped Jason reach his goal to return to driving and regain his independence by funding an Occupational Therapy driving assessment and driver rehabilitation lessons. Being able to return to driving was liberating for Jason.
“My Support Planner, Gaenor, helped me to access rehab so that I could go from having to live with my parents on the Gold Coast to regaining my driver licence, so that I could return to living independently and move back to my property at Pittsworth,” he said.
In his spare time, Jason can be found on his farm looking after cattle and grooming horses and is now involved with sustainable farming group ‘Til the cows come home.
Before the accident, Jason worked in a stakeholder engagement role where he had contributed to setting up a local Men’s Shed to help men work on their health and wellbeing. Post injury, Jason now makes weekly visits to the same Men’s Shed. He also keeps busy helping the local school with football and soccer games and helps to prepare for the weekend church service.
“I have learned that it is important to find a sense of community after injury. My Support Planner- Community, Trang, helped me to understand what I could access in the community, including volunteering options and employment services to help me eventually return to work one day,” Jason said.
“Don’t be scared to ask for help. As a mature, super independent guy, this has been hard for me but when you have people on your team like Trang and Gaenor who understand some of the challenges you face, it makes it a lot easier.”
Since his return to Pittsworth, NIISQ has funded additional physiotherapy and a psychologist so that Jason can attend adjustment to injury counselling.
He was recently accepted in to the Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service (ABIOS) STEPS program where he is looking forward to fostering his support networks further.
“We worked with Lee Cubis from ABIOS to ensure NIISQ was providing the necessary supports for Jason. The STEPS program is held in high esteem by the NIISQ Agency team and we think Jason will do well being a part of it,” said Trang, NIISQ Support Planner- Community.