Rise Community Network client John Pearce is a man who doesn’t give up. And he certainly doesn’t take no for an answer.
Following six months of small turns and tests, John (70) suffered a stroke in June 2014. He was initially told by doctors that he would be bedridden for life.
Following rehabilitation and support from Rise Community Network, John has a sunny outlook on life. He is determined to keep pushing the boundaries.
John spent several months in Shenton Park Rehabilitation Centre before being moved to Fiona Stanley Hospital. He took part in lots of physiotherapy and was determined to meet his goals.
They drained the blood out of my brain. I was on thirty tablets a day and a drip too. My whole left side was affected – my leg, arm, vision and neck. I had to do vision tests and learn to read properly. My voice has come back now. Before this I’d never had an illness in my life.
John said he had a clear goal from the onset.
Therapists always asked what I wanted to achieve and I said it was to get out of my chair and walk. They kept telling me my chances were slim. I said don’t tell me I can’t walk.
Several modifications were made at John’s family home in Stratton. Railing was installed throughout the home and the bathroom was renovated. This allows John more independence.
Despite John powering through his daily exercises, he suffered some setbacks. He had a nasty fall while walking. This left him with a fractured bone in his left shoulder. Another time he got an infection which also delayed his recovery.
As well as individual therapy, John also attended group therapy sessions, which he found beneficial. Now, he still has more goals to achieve.
I’m down to three tablets a day. I can get my hand straight and it doesn’t hurt. I’m up to 100m of walking with the aid of a stick. I’m standing much straighter, I used to stoop and my son called me a turtle.
I can just about touch my toes. I’m determined to get my shoes on so I can walk by myself. My favourite saying is ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’.
Help from Rise Community Network
John began attending Centenary House around 18 months ago. The social centre in Koongamia provides activities and socialisation. He attends each Friday and enjoys the social activities. The staff have also seen a vast improvement in his walking. In December 2015 he was unable to walk to collect a present from Santa. In 2016, he did the same walk unaided.
From there he started coming to Milperra. This is a respite home run by Rise Community Network in Mount Helena. He attends every few months and made many friends with other guests.
I love it here, it is like a holiday home. All the staff are very friendly and there is a only small number of guests. I’ve made friends with Rosemary and Ron. It also gives my wife a break.
Rise Community Network Aged Care Coordinator Karen Wittcomb said John was an inspiration to many.
John is so positive and determined. He’s come a long way since we first met him and all the staff at Milperra are proud of what he has accomplished.
Aged Care Services
Rise Community Network runs a number of programs to assist with aged care. This includes social centres, respite and home care. For more information click here.