“I had no other options.”
Catherine’s voice sounds sad as she thinks back over the period after her husband was hospitalised for 6 months following a brain aneurysm.
Catherine is disabled and her husband had always been the carer for her and their three young children. The tables turned suddenly following his aneurysm and she struggled to get to the hospital to see her husband and to care for the children and make sure they were able to still be free to be children, rather than suddenly be confined to the house.
“I was at the hospital every day seeing my husband. I was struggling financially, I was struggling disability wise,” says Catherine softly.
Over the 6 months her husband was in hospital a series of seven Safe Families volunteers supported the family, taking them to and from hospital with their various appointments and visits.
“They were really polite, very nice,” comments Catherine. “They helped us the best they could. They were willing to help with anything.
“It made a big difference. They helped us with transport to see my husband. They helped look after my children while I was seeing my husband. They helped financially; getting food from the food bank. They helped at Christmas as well. They bought a few presents for the children and got us some bags of potatoes and things for Christmas dinner. Vegetables and little bits of treats. One of my children needs to eat special foods as he has gluten and dairy intolerances and they provided special foods.”
Without the volunteer support Catherine describes herself as without other options and unable to visit her husband over the 6 month period he was in hospital.
Dad’s back home now but the volunteers are still around to take the children out every couple weeks to the park so Mum and Dad get a break. While there are some challenges the family will always face, “There’s a very big difference in where I was and where I am now.”
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