k) Emma's story (10 mins)
In March 2011 Emma & her newborn baby had a serious accident. The first time out walking with Eloise in a pram they were hit by a car. Emma was flown straight up in the air, landed on head. She had a fractured skull. Emma was airlifted to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; the baby was taken to the Children’s Hospital at Randwick. Emma was in intensive care and then 2 or 3 months in a brain injury ward. She has very serious injuries. When she left hospital she went to live at her father’s and step mother’s house. She needs 24 hour care seven days a week.
- Keith, Emma’s father
- Loraine, Emma’s step mother
- Cherie, Emma’s community support worker
We could have carers 24 hours, but we decided that the 12 hours between 7.30 at night and 7.30 in the morning, which is 90% of that time Emma is in bed, we could handle that ourselves… Just to give us a break, you know, a bit of normality in home. I think the biggest impact is probably on Loraine, not on me.
Keith, Emma’s father
Why it was so hard for me, it wasn’t the carers themselves, because they’ve all been good and nice. I had to learn to step back and let them do what they had to do without butting in and trying to help them... You know, they go to do something and I’ve already done it. But I did learn to step back and relax more. I wasn’t relaxed. I felt that once they come in the morning I had to be up, and had to make sure Emma’s clothes were all there, what she was going to put on for the day. And as time’s gone on I don’t do that anymore. I let the carers get on with their work.
Loraine, Emma’s step mother
As a support worker I do feel like we are in a very privileged position. We are being let into people’s private life, people’s private homes. You become… Like you are quite aware that you are entering somebody’s home and you do have to have a certain level of I guess in your mind you think “I’m here in a professional manner . . I’m here for a purpose . .
I really like the days that you can help you client achieve a goal that they’ve really been working towards for a long time. I think it’s really satisfying to be in a role where you are helping people to live independently and fulfil their potential whatever their potential might be. I think, just assisting people to be the best that they can be is extremely rewarding.
Cherie, Emma’s community support worker