Bernadette Melder has worked in the disability and/or mental health sector for over 10 years and is a Coordinator of Supports. Her role as a Coordinator with the Jeder Institute makes her very happy and over the years she has made a difference in many people’s lives. The following is one of many of her stories of success…
I have a beautiful story to share regarding Anthony*, one of my participants, who grew up with horses. They were a huge part of his life from when he was a very young child engaging with horses in all aspects; from caring for them, cleaning out their pens, grooming, riding and pony club, to when he left home as an adult and moved to Sydney.
As a child, and was blessed with his love and passion for horses and as his family moved away from farm life, everything changed for him.
In 1999, life drastically changed for Anthony when he was in a tragic train accident, whilst commuting to work. He was in the front carriage and lucky to be alive. Anthony developed complex PTSD, anxiety and depression, and from this, further developed multiple complex health conditions which have had a significant impact on his day to day life with limited mobility and constant pain.
When I first engaged with Anthony, we regularly reviewed his plan and looked at his goals, organised assessments, engaged a support team, organised a support roster and the possibility of a different life started to evolve.
To begin with, we organised foundational supports for Anthony, which were greatly needed and appreciated as he had previously only been supported for 4 hours a week for shopping and cleaning.
Anthony now has support every day! These support people assist with meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, transporting him to GP, physiotherapy and psychology appointments and supporting him every 3 months to attend his many specialist appointments in Sydney. Anthony and his support people fly with Angel flight and now stay in wonderful accommodation in close proximity to the major hospitals.
Anthony’s day to day life is now well supported and finally, he can focus on his next, most important step; we are working towards getting Anthony into Equine Therapy and it has been the most fabulous experience for Anthony. He says himself, that he cannot describe in words, the emotions he feels when re-engaging with his lost passion.
Anthony could not imagine before that his love and passion for horses would be a part of his life again and he is so appreciative and thankful for this opportunity. Every week is different now as he considers what he has achieved with his support people and to be back with a passion and love for horses that he never thought he could imagine have anything to do with again in this lifetime is the biggest bonus of all!
Our next step is to support Anthony to purchase new supportive shoes and clothing so he can achieve more goals with the horses.
So, watch this space, there will no doubt be an exciting update in the near future!
*Anthony has provided permission to share his story