“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
"My name is Anthony Fox. I am 37 yrs old and happily married to Sally, with two young children Tyson 5 and Madison 7.
On 21 September 2012, I suffered a major stroke and was hospitalised in the Royal Adelaide. The stroke was caused by a torn artery in my neck which released a blood clot to my brain. On the night of my stroke I attended a physiotherapy appointment where my neck was vigorously manipulated, and probably did the damage to my neck. During the week prior to the stroke I presented myself to my local GP with dizziness and fatigue and a headache that had been present for two weeks. My GP recommended that I take some nurofen (anti-inflammatory/pain killers and recommended that I go to the physio for my neck pain.
I was in the RAH for 2 months. Due to the enormity of the stroke and my young age several pieces of my skull and some of my brain were removed on more than one occasion (craniotectomy) to save my life. There was insufficient room in my skull for my swollen brain. To complicate the situation I also contracted a dangerous Golden Staph infection in my head and blood at the RAH, necessitating another emergency operation. The stroke has affected the left side of my body, rendering me unable to walk, leaving me in a wheelchair and for my left arm to not to function at all. The left side of both my eyes has also been affected and my peripheral vision. My thinking skills have also been affected.
From the RAH I was admitted to the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, where I have been a patient for four months and am currently hospitalised. I have reached a point in my rehabilitation where I should be discharged to home and continue my rehabilitation as an out- patient. I still need help to shower, toilet and most other ADLs.
We have been advised there is no funding for a carer even for 16 hrs per week to allow me to go home, and for my wife to be finally able to return to work. If I choose to leave Hampstead without the approved carers hours I will be removed from the system and will no longer be eligible to receive carer support. The government health care system will “happily” pay for me to remain in hospital and take up a bed in the over-crowded hospital system, at more cost to the taxpayer.
The decision not to fund the carer hours has devastated me and my family, and will further delay my recovery. It is blatantly obvious to me that the system is broken. It does not make sense for the health system to continue to pay for my hospitalisation, and not to fund a mere 16 hours of carer support to get me home and speed up my rehabilitation, and allow me and my family to get on with our lives. Prior to the stroke I was a fit healthy and happy man employed at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in Adelaide for 13 years.
I implore that the decision to refuse the funding for a carer to be overturned which will allow me to return home at the end of March 2013. My family and I are struggling with me being hospitalised and I need to go home. Every day away from my family is like a dagger in my heart. I need to go home so we can be a family again. My kids need their dad at home and my wife needs her husband.
I am writing this in the hope that someone out there will hear my story and make something good happen for me.