Lucius: A mother’s story
Ask any parent and they will tell you that parenting can often be challenging. For Briearne, being a Mum to 2 year-old Lucius presents even more unique challenges because he is living with a traumatic brain injury, sustained from a motor vehicle accident.
Lucius was just 3 months old at the time of the accident.
“Things were chaotic, I didn’t know where to begin or what to do when it came to Lucius,” said Briearne.
NIISQ has provided support to Lucius and Briearne from the early stages of adjusting to life after injury.
“Without NIISQ, I would be lost. Our Support Planner, Trang, helped with planning most of Lucius’ needs and helped me to learn to do that myself. It was very valuable having Trang come with me to Lucius’ hospital and specialist reviews. She helped me to remember questions I had and encouraged me to ask more or ask for things to be explained in more general terms. An everyday person like me doesn’t understand the medical language but having Trang’s support to debrief after these appointments has been helpful,” Briearne said.
NIISQ Support Planners worked alongside Briearne to enable access to treatment, care and support to assist with seizure activity associated with Lucius’ injury, and other supports to help with his development, including home-based physiotherapy and occupational therapy and medications. Briearne also received funding to attend epilepsy-related courses to understand how to effectively respond to her son during his seizure episodes.
“Because of our NIISQ Support Planners, I feel like Lucius has some of the best therapists and support team. It is great having someone that I feel is genuinely invested in my child’s wellbeing and progress and not feeling like we are just another number,” Briearne said.
A current focus is for Briearne to learn to help Lucius with attachment anxiety and behavioural traits associated with his brain injury. NIISQ has funded caregiver psychology support to help her with adjustment counselling and parent-infant attachment. We have also helped link Briearne with other community support groups.
“It’s not just about funding for treatment because NIISQ really considers the big picture and the family unit. They found the right therapist for me. I didn’t realise I was still grieving and that I have not had the opportunity until now to really process everything. If it weren’t for NIISQ, I also would not have known about the parent and family support group who have helped with lots of family situations,” Briearne said.
The NIISQ Agency team feels privileged to be a part of Lucius’ milestones. He is now a gorgeous 2-year-old, who has started to learn to walk and say his first words – with ‘Mum’ being one of the very first. We look forward to seeing what Lucius will achieve as he gets older.
“NIISQ provides a feeling of connectedness. Hearing stories of other experiences, knowing that you are not alone and having people that understand and are so human is so important. I wanted to share our story with other NIISQ participants to let them know that support is available. I would recommend other families to ask questions and talk to their Support Planners about anything. While trauma doesn’t leave you, you learn to cope with it better as time goes on. With NIISQ, I know that Lucius and I have the best people on this journey with us,” said Briearne.