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Shane at home in his own independent apartment, Oct 2022
At 17 years of age, Shane was involved in a road accident where he sustained a severe acquired brain injury. I first met Shane and his family in 2017. Shane was 10 years in a Community Nursing Home where he received excellent 24-hour nursing care. His families wish was for Shane to come home to a specially adapted apartment attached to the family farm house. In my role as Case Manager, the families wish was achieved.
In 2018, Shane, aged 28, went home on a phased basis, firstly on a day trip, then overnight and then for good. There are 14 staff led by a nurse manager presently caring for Shane at home, some part-time staff also. Shane is content at home and is out and about in an adapted vehicle when weather permits. Shane’s complex medical needs are now being met at home with ongoing case management in conjunction with his family and care provider including nurses and personal assistants.
Update April 2020: Shane is now 30 years of age and has been living at home for 2 years since 2018. He loves his recently installed sensory room. With the current Covid-19 restrictions in nursing homes, at home, Shane's family can visit him anytime. Shane is receiving excellent nursing care in accordance with HSE guidelines, all staff are using PPE. As case manager, I organise case review meetings to monitor Shane's care and update his solicitor.
Update August 2020: Visiting Shane and his family now again adhering to social distancing and government regulations.
Update October 2021: Shane is now 3 years at home. He is engaging with Music Therapy. Staff and Family love to see Shane's positive reaction to Music especially the 'Saw Doctors' who he was following at the time of his accident.
Update September 2022: Shane is nursed at home with 24 hour care, he attends the local IWA outreach services supported by staff, see recent photo on lower left.
Thank you to Shane and his parents for allowing me to publish this.
George driving on his own racing simulator in his own independent apartment next to the family home.
I have worked with George and his family for 5 years now. George is a very energetic teenager who attended his local special school. I organised the services of 2 personal assistants to work shifts around Georges busy schedule. George is an avid gardener and has designed his own vegetable garden and has a polytunnel and a glasshouse. George received a Hero award for his part in the successful resuscitation of a sports coach in the gym where he attends. This inspired George to complete a first responder’s course. I assisted George and his Mum with a re-build of a recently purchased bungalow to accommodate George’s self contained apartment to enhance his supported independence.
Update April 2020: Georges new build is now complete and George absolutely loves his self contained apartment within the family home. George is currently in Leaving Cert. He has plans to travel the Wild Atlantic Way once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. As case manager, I am providing remote assistance on a regular basis.
Update August 2020: George graduated online from secondary school and is looking forward to his work placement in September.
Update October 2021: George is currently working part-time in Naas Hospital supported by KARE - a wonderful organisation who provide support to people who have intellectual disabilities and their families. Covid-19 has been a very challenging time for George as he loved traveling. George loves living in his own self contained apartment attached to the family home. George was devasted when he couldn't do his theory test and so we organised a trip to Mondello Park and trialled a racing simulator with Digital Motor Sport. He now drives virtually in the comfort of his own apartment.
Thank you to George and his mother for allowing me to publish this.
Antoinette suffered a catastrophic brain injury following a road traffic accident in 2014. I first met Antoinette and her lovely family when she was 3 years in an acute hospital setting in 2015. Over a period of time and research, we visited different acquired brain injury units. Antoinette now lives in Peamount Hospital, aan cquired brain injury unit, St. Bríds, where her care needs are being met in a holistic and calm and caring environment. The team is led by Dr Eugene Wallace, Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine and Clinical Nurse Manager, Ms George.
Update June 2019: Antoinette has had her tracheostomy removed.
Update April 2020: Antoinette's planned 40th Birthday celebrations had to be cancelled but will go ahead once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Music therapy through eye gaze technology was commenced during Covid restrictions by Dr Shane Cassidy so that Antoinette could continue to enjoy this therapy as the eye gaze technolody was already in place.
Update August 2020: Antoinette's family can visit her now (although through the window) they are delighted to see her in good spirits enjoying her music therapy. We witnessed the benefits of music therapy through the window during Covid which was a huge benefit to Antoinette and support to her family during these difficult times.
Update October 2021: Antoinette eventually returned home for the first time ever since her accident to celebrate her Dad's 70th birthday supported by Peamount staff. It was a very emotional day for the family. A transition to home plan is now in progress.
Update August 2022: Antoinette attended nephew's wedding in Dundalk and visited her home home again recently.
Thanks to Antoinette's Family and Dr. Eugene Wallace for allowing me to publish this.
Matthew attending his debs in 2022
In this photo, Matthew is 15 years of age and attending the CallanTansey "Pathways to Progress" Medico Legal Conference in Sligo with his parents. At 17 months, Matthew contracted Haemophilus Influenza Type B, which led to Meningitis, undiagnosed at the time, resulting in Matthew being left with a severe neurological deficit and ventilated. He attended Gorey Community College for his secondary education supported by a staff nurse. It was a pleasure, as Matthew’s Case Manager, to support Matthew and his parents, Cathy and Alan, who were keynote speakers at the conference. Matthew's solicitor, Roger Murray introduced Cathy and Alan who spoke about their experience with the court system and how the family's life has changed. The McGrath's are an amazing family who are an inspiration to everyone.
Update June 2019: Matthew has completed his Junior Cert.
Update April 2020: Matthew is now in transition year and travelled to Barcelona on his transition year school trip in February 2020.
Update August 2020: Matthew upgraded his power chair and is now an expert in its use. He is preparing to return to 5th Year in September.
Update October 2021: Matthew is now in his leaving certificate year. He is doing work experience, visiting the National Garda Immigration Unit. He is preparing for a family trip to South Africa for Christmas.
Update August 2022: Matthew is now preparing to attend the National Learning Network in Wexford in September. He will also attend UCD a day per week. Matthew won Young Achiever of the Year, Gorey Awards, 2022. He set up his own website http://wheeleasybeaches.ie/promoting access for wheelchair users and physically impaired to beaches in Wexford.
Thank you to Matthew and his parents for their permission to publish this.
My son was an exemplary student of law and was extremely ambitious before he suffered a brain hemorrhage. However, due to his brain injury, he was struggling with the demands of full-time employment and some general day to day tasks. My solicitor requested an immediate needs assessment for the courts. Siobhan's report identified many immediate and long term needs we had not considered ourselves. Many of these have been implemented, we continue to work with Siobhan and are hopeful her interventions will improve my son’s quality of life. Siobhan is very emphatic, personable, approachable and kind.
Thanks to Ann for allowing me to publish this.
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