Permission has been given to use *Matthew’s real name
Michaela from the Jeder Institute started working with *Matthew in 2017, when he was 17 years of age. He had a plan allocated, with a poor budget and no support coordination, so Michaela initially came in to help the family sort that out.
Matthew loves animals, plays Bocce at a state level, enjoys being with people, watching movies and footy and finding interesting places in the community to visit. He loves going on holidays with his parents and prior to COVID they would do an annual trip overseas for 4-6 weeks every year.
Dad is a lift mechanic electrician and Mum is a very organised school teacher who shared Matthew’s story amazingly well and by 2018 we had a new plan which, although it funded him better, was still missing a lot of requirements as Matthew uses a lot of equipment; electric and manual wheelchairs, lifters and hoists, shower/hygiene equipment and he also needs oxygen and food through the night to supplement his diet.
During this period of time they were living in the western suburbs of Sydney in a 6 bedroom family home. Most of Matthew’s equipment wasn’t funded well from the beginning and needed replacing and servicing and we struggled for a long time to get the funding needed for his equipment.
Then the family made the decision to downsize and move to the Northern Beaches in a high rise apartment and it transformed their lives!
The apartment block has an indoor pool and gym and a community BBQ area. There are local stores nearby and the family feel they are on a permanent holiday with only a 15 minute walk to the beach.
Matthew is now 21 years old. He has a modified vehicle, a new bed and quality equipment for all his personal needs! He even has a new puppy, Molly, that is in training as an assistance dog.
Matthew has great social support, he looks after animals, creates art, joins social events, has made more friends in the local area and is able to participate in more Bocce practice sessions and tournaments, now that he lives closer. His new support workers help on overseas trips and support him to experience these adventures independently from mum and dad.
Matthew and his Mum choose their own support workers now, with a variety of independent workers and a mix of different day program activities plus, dedicated therapists that understand his needs and Matthew’s potential for building skills and personal growth.
By getting the right amount of funding, and the equipment that is more appropriate and relevant, like the modified vehicle, both Matthew and his family’s lives have undergone an incredible and beneficial transformation.
Micheala loves working with Matthew and his family and enjoys seeing the smile on Matthew’s face when he is with his puppy, Molly, and when he is surrounded by the people he loves and who love him.