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Helping with life-changing journeys

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Just before Christmas in 1998, Jon and Christine’s lives’ changed forever.

Christine, then aged 37 and an accomplished equestrian with two young children at home, suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown from her horse while out riding near her property on the outskirts of Dubbo.

With her husband Jon by her side, Christine was transferred from Dubbo Base Hospital to Sydney where she remained in a coma for three months. Months of rehabilitation followed, returning to Dubbo in a wheelchair with speech and neurological challenges.

After further therapy from the Lourdes Hospital Brain Injury Unit, Christine started attending the Home Care long day respite care program in Dubbo – known locally as Home Club.

“Home Club has been brilliant,” says Jon. “I couldn’t have continued to work and care for our children without them.

“For Christine, coming to Home Club three days a week enables her to engage in a variety of activities, and be around other people which I think is beneficial. It helps her to expand herself.”

Andrew Grace, Senior Coordinator for Home Care in the Orana region, agrees Home Club provides Christine with the opportunity to socialise and participate in activities she enjoys like jigsaw puzzles, quizzes and card games.

“Home Club also allows Jon, who is her main carer, to have some respite,” says Andrew. “We provide Jon with peace of mind knowing his wife is being cared for by a trained professional team so he can focus on his work and provide for his family.

“Jon also enjoys having a chat with the team when he picks up Christine in the afternoon. This allows him to remain connected to her care.”

“She has periods of lucidity when she is like the old Christine, but can get a bit melancholy because she understands her predicament,” says Jon.

“Without the Home Club, we wouldn’t have made it this far.”

To find out more about Catholic Healthcare’s respite services call us on 1800 225 474.