Lord John, a participant in our Coordination Of Support (COS) services, sustained a spinal cord injury in 2009, which left him with no movement or sensation from the neck down. Post this, Lord John had to undergo a tracheostomy to be on ventilated care.
In 2016, his health deteriorated further due to a pressure injury. The medical complexities resulted in complete bed rest, and Lord John was not able to access his community for nearly three years. Through extensive occupational therapy, clinical supports, and intervention, his injury started to heal. At this time, Lord John expressed his desire to watch the U2 concert to his Support Co-ordinator, Anna De Leon. “He was so motivated to go to the concert. He told me that U2 was his favourite band. When he mentioned that he had never been to a concert and wanted to experience it before he dies, I had to make it happen for him,” says Anna.
To make Lord John’s goal a reality, Anna had to overcome many challenges. To start with, she engaged with other organisations and people in Lord Johns’ support circle. These included Abigail (Lord John’s wife), Southern Cross Support Workers and Clinical Coordinator, IOH Occupational Therapist, Clinical Nurse from Australian Clinical Experts, My Plan Manager, Paramedical services as well as the Safety & Wellbeing Manager of Sydney Cricket Ground.
Next Anna, had to chalk out the safest and most affordable plan as this major event in Lord John’s life came with a significant cost. The NDIS was able to assist with the costs involved with support worker assistance, equipment and patient transport which accounted for 85% of the total cost. iIn addition to that, the NDIS also covered the Co-ordination of Support and the Occupational Therapy hours.
The COS team’s diligent planning made the goal of watching the U2 concert possible for Lord John. On 23 November 2019, Lord John attended the U2 concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground with his wife and carer. He was so thrilled and overjoyed with the entire experience. He said, “Thank you, Anna, for all the trouble you went to organise the trip. The step by step itinerary you provided helped us know what we were doing at any given point of time as well as contact the right person if we had a problem.”
Lord John had an incredible experience at the concert. “Once, we got to my seat with plenty of room for my chair, my wife and carer beside me, a powerpoint to plug in my ventilator, and close to all the action it was magical. The sound throughout the stadium was a great new experience that I have never done in my entire life. Now I can say I have been to a concert, but not just any show, it was a U2 concert! Thanks again for everything.”
Kudos to everyone involved and especially to Anna De Leon for making Lord John’s dream a reality.
Source: Ability Options