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Life changing for family…
Year 12 had come to an end for Lachlan, and it was time to chill out at the beach to celebrate the end of school life with his mates. Just an ordinary day at the beach and school boys enjoying themselves in the surf, but mostly looking forward to ‘no more’ school. Then the unthinkable happened …
Aged 17, Lachlan’s life changed forever after his end of year celebration went horribly wrong. He found himself in the intensive care unit at Royal Perth Hospital with a fractured spinal cord, resulting in him becoming a quadriplegic.
Lachlan says he’s not even sure what did happen that day, he reflected “maybe I got dumped in the surf and hit a sandbar but I really don’t remember”. He added “there is no point looking back, I just have to keep living life and moving forward.”
Mum, Kristen, Dad, Tim, sister Victoria and brother Campbell were with Lachlan throughout his many hospital stays and rehabilitation. Without their love and support he says “I don’t know how I would have gotten through the many months in hospital, infections and then finally spending my ‘gap year’ at the Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital”.
“It takes a ‘village’ to support a person with a spinal cord injury.”
Lachlan’s Mum told us: “Being a family was difficult when Lach was in hospital. Family time suffered immensely and very suddenly. Our other children had to continue school and routine, and we were grateful for every bit of support that was given. The change in our lives of having a child who walked out the door to the beach in the morning, then acquiring a spinal cord injury in the afternoon was immense.”
The impact of Lachlan’s injury has affected the whole family and there have been minor modifications and adjustments that have been made in their home over the past six years.
Tim and Kristen are both juggling busy working lives with two teenagers and Lachlan all living at home. Kristen said “people don’t realise how often people with a spinal cord injury spasm. On some occasions we have to get up to move Lach’s legs up to 20 times a night”.
“Our aim has always been to support Lach back to living a normal life, but currently we fill the gaps when we get home from work, overnight and on weekends. Some of this is to create our own family time. The biggest challenge currently is having a house that does not support disability agency requirements around support and is really not accessible.
We advise any family that ends up on the same path as us, is to continue to protect your family unit. Surround yourselves with people and organisations whose aim is to allow you to all live your life. It will take a lot of searching, but don’t give up and never give in.
With some hefty workouts with the SCIA NeuroMoves team, Lachlan has come a long way and we’re grateful for the friendship and support he receives from them every week.”
Lachlan and his family are positive about his new upcoming role with the Peer Support Team at the SCIA Perth Short Term Accommodation. It’s an important step to independence for Lachlan and he is looking forward to a time when he has his own place and can invite Mum, Dad, Victoria and Campbell over for a BBQ and a beer.
The support SCIA provides is vital when people are working so hard to get their lives back on track after a spinal cord injury.
Please consider making a donation of your choice below to ensure we can continue to provide meaningful help through our Peer and Family Support program and NeuroMoves. Your donation means that we can ensure SCIA continues to assist people transitioning back into their life after a spinal cord injury.