Ausnew Home Care | Kindness of strangers gives freedom to family of six-year-old Audrey Wallace in palliative care

Kindness of strangers gives freedom to family of six-year-old Audrey Wallace in palliative care

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A Queensland family struggling to find housing to accommodate the needs of their terminally ill six-year-old daughter have been approved for a new home, around-the-clock care, and the loan of a wheelchair-accessible van.

Justin and Ashlee Wallace were just adjusting to the news that their "cheeky" six-year-old Audrey was now in palliative care.

Audrey lives with treatment-resistant epilepsy and the family does not know how long they have left to create memories together.

Six weeks ago she could walk and talk, but after a bout of pneumonia her condition rapidly deteriorated and she now needs to use a wheelchair, suffers constant seizures, and can no longer swallow food.

It has created new challenges the couple never thought they would face.

But the kindness of strangers has given their daughter a new quality of life in the time she has left.

Five hours away from the family's Gold Coast home, Hervey Bay couple Donna Moore and Erica Breitzke saw Audrey's story online and reached out to Mrs Wallace on social media.

The couple had a wheelchair-friendly van from a previous business venture that they were looking to sell.

Two women smiling at the camera
Wheelchair-friendly van donors and Hervey Bay couple Erica Breitzke (left) and Donna Moore.(Supplied: Donna Moore)

Instead, Ms Moore and Ms Breitzke decided to loan it to the Wallaces.

"I had epilepsy as child so it kind of resonated with me as well," Ms Moore said.

"We like to be kind, and what goes around comes around."

Duration: 5 minutes 22 seconds
When strangers unite to help a sick child.(Story Stream)

Mrs Wallace said the generosity of the women who did not even know the family was unbelievable.

"It's going to open up so much freedom, just being able to do normal things like take her out to the shops," she said.

"It just allows us to have our life back.

"I just want to say thank you for everything and to everyone who has reached out to support us. I'm just so appreciative of the amazing community that we have here in Australia."

Disability-accessible home found and approved

A sick young girl in bed.
Six-year-old Gold Coast girl Audrey Wallace lives with treatment-resistant epilepsy and is in palliative care.(ABC Gold Coast: Jessica Lamb)

Earlier this week the Wallaces said their Gold Coast rental was too small to accommodate Audrey's needs and they were waiting for a review of Audrey's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding package.

After inquiries made by the ABC, both the National Disability Insurance Agency, which oversees the NDIS, and the Queensland Department of Housing have investigated the case.

The family has since been approved for a disability-accessible home on the Gold Coast, and they are busy packing.

"The NDIS has also approved 24-hour nursing care for Audrey," Mrs Wallace said.

"I feel like a weight lifted off my shoulders."

An NDIA spokesperson said the agency acknowledges the "incredibly difficult time" Audrey and her family are facing and "we extend our sympathies".

A mother, father and two children smile at the camera
Ashlee and Justin Wallace with their children Amari, 2, and Audrey, 6.(Supplied: Ashlee Wallace)

Mrs Wallace said the developments meant the family could now concentrate on caring for Audrey and her sister.

"We can actually sit back and be parents, and not be all the hats," she said.

"Now we can focus on her unicorn party that's happening at the end of July, to give her the best time ever."


Source: ABC

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