Help us help Will Cookesley
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Most of you who are reading this will be aware of the hardships Will has faced in the last 22 months, that's 691 days.
Our story is long.
It began on 01.01.2016 when a 27-year-old fit, healthy, ambitious, hardworking, happy, successful bloke had a tragic accident. He fell from a balcony of over 4 metres in height directly on to his head. He suffered a diffuse, axonal, severe traumatic brain injury. He required immediate surgery to release the swelling of his brain, where they remove the skull. And at the same time, they attempted to repair the numerous facial and head fractures which took over 8 hours. At the end of the surgery, they gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. He spent 3 weeks in ICU in a coma of which he remained in a vegetative state for 9 months on the neurological ward at the Alfred Hospital. 9 months of hell. 9 months of surgeries, infections, admissions to the ICU, spasticity casting on his legs, arms and fingers for contractures, many many invasive procedures and operations to try and save his life. Followed by 10 months of tireless, painful, arduous therapy at the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at the Caulfield Hospital, and most recently, relentless, continuous, and progressive rehab in the Transitional Living Service that is affiliated with the Caulfield Hospital.
Now, as if he hasn't gone through enough we face one of our biggest battles yet.
The Australian Government is in the process of changing their disability funding from The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). But due to the enormity of the transition, they are rolling it out in stages for different councils.
Stonnington Council has not yet rolled out to the NDIS. Residents in the Stonnington Council, who were not already funded through the DHHS and have since suffered an injury or illness that has resulted in permanent disability, WILL NOT BE FUNDED until after April 2018. After April 2018, those waiting for funds will wait months to be given a care plan meeting date. Then after the meeting date, a care plan meeting will then take time to process, funds will be then be allocated and we will then wait for the funds to be cleared. This could take us until late 2018. 12 months of waiting.
Our battle? Will is waiting for discharge from his current accommodation at the Transitional Living Service into the community. But we have no access to funding for his next step. As we all know Will has made such incredible progress living in this type of supported accommodation and it has been recommended by all of his Doctors and Allied Health Professionals that Will must progress on to similar support in order for his recovery and rehabilitation to continue.
In order to get funding prior to the NDIS rolling out late next year, you can apply to the DHHS for Disability Support Register to fund will in advance. But, as you can imagine, this in itself is a long and arduous procedure so, therefore, we need our local MP Kelly O'Dwyer to advocate for Will and contact any necessary party involved in the DSR and DHHS so that we can get funding for Will.
WHY WE NEED FUNDING?
Currently, Will has no funding for any accommodation for people with disabilities. He cannot return to his apartment as there is no rental assistance to pay his mortgage (as he cannot work) and there is no funding to fund attendant carers to care for him in that environment. It is highly recommended that patients like Will don't return to their parent's house after brain injuries as it inhibits rehab progression and it also makes future accommodation funding requests harder to get (Specialist Disability Accommodation, SDA)
We have no access to care funding whatsoever. The only option is that Mum; Jane, becomes FULL TIME carer with no assistance.
Will will have no access to any therapy funding in order to participate in physio, OT, speech therapy, neuropsych, hydrotherapy, etc all necessary at this critical stage in his recovery
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
You can sign this petition!!!
You can contact Kelly O'Dwyer on behalf of our family.
You could put us in contact with anyone you may know within our Local Council or anyone you may know in the DHHS
So that Kelly O'Dwyer and the DHHS can see the rally of support behind Will and advocate on behalf of him to grant him DSR funding through the DHHS whilst we wait for the NDIS roll out.
Will and the Cookesley's have not tirelessly faught for over 691 days, 22 months, to end up at our critical stage in recovery, like this.
If you are in the position to donate financially please visit our GoFundMe page we have set up for Will.
Please also note that by donating directly to change.org it is not a donation to Will. It is a donation to change.org to promote our petition to wider communities. If you would like to donate directly to Will please use the link above. Many thanks.
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