Wayne from Melbourne has been with MePACS for over 4 years and loves telling people about how useful the MePACS service is. Friendly and chatty, Wayne is happiest when he can help other people, and is an active volunteer for Limbs 4 Life – an organisation that supports and empowers amputees and people living with limb loss.
“That’s my way of giving back because I’ve had so much support from the community”, Said Wayne.
Growing up in Warrandyte, Wayne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes around the age of 10, a condition he continues to manage on a daily basis. At the age of 17, he became a chef but continued to suffer from health complications. In 2008 he received a kidney transplant, and in 2011 had his leg amputated, which meant he could no longer work as a chef.
It’s been over 15 years since the kidney transplant, and Wayne says he’s doing fantastic. He lives a healthy lifestyle and looks after himself with daily walks.
“Before I became an amputee, I used to put things off. Now, I live each day to the fullest. I go out for a walk every day, to see the birds, or have a coffee and a chat. Even if it’s raining, I take an umbrella, put a coat on and off I go.”
Wherever he goes, and at home, Wayne always wears his Solo watch. It makes him feel safer knowing that if he falls, or if his blood sugar suddenly drops, he can quickly call MePACS for help.
“It’s easy to use. You just press the red icon on the screen, you hear a few beeps, and then an operator from MePACS talks to you through the watch.”
Assistive technology for amputees through NDIS Funding
Wayne uses his NDIS funding to cover the cost of the Solo watch. Originally, when his NDIS support worker asked if he wanted a personal alarm, Wayne told her he didn’t need one. It was only after she insisted, and he did some research on personal alarms that he decided he had nothing to lose. Within a week of placing the order he received his new Solo watch alarm.
As part of his volunteering work, Wayne now helps other amputees understand how NDIS funding for assistive technology, including personal alarms, can help support their lives.
“The watch alarm is covered by NDIS funding and it just goes through my support. I get a bill at the end of the month just to say that it’s already been paid by NDIS.”
MePACS is there to help when you need it most
In the past 4 years, Wayne has had to use his Solo watch to call for help twice.
The first time was when he slipped in the shower while trying pivot his wheelchair, and he couldn’t get up on his own.
“I had no one else at home and even though I’ve been taught how to get up after a fall, it’s just a fright. By the time MePACS hung up to call the ambulance and said they’d call me back, the ambulance was at the door.”
Wayne had a key safe installed outside his house, so the paramedics were able to use the keys to gain easy access into his home.
The second time, Wayne was in the city with friends and tripped over a rock in a garden. He hit his head and nearly knocked himself out.
“My friends tried to get me up, but I said no, I’ll just call MePACS because they can connect to the ambulance, and they know what to do.”
A few weeks ago, a fire alarm in Wayne’s building went off. Because the lift couldn’t be used, Wayne had to go down steep stairs. The stress from the fire alarm and the steep stairs caused a drop in his blood sugar level and he had nothing on him to eat. Wayne was ready to press the alarm when a lady from across the road stepped in and gave him some jellybeans that helped raise his blood sugar levels again.
“It’s just a life changer, knowing that someone is there for me. If I get frightened, shocked or something happens, or I’m collapsing because my sugar level suddenly drops, I know I can just call MePACS.”
“Two days ago, I pressed the button to test the alarm; I don’t remember who I spoke with but she was amazing. MePACS are always polite and ask if there’s anything they can do for you. They actually care about you.”
“I always recommend MePACS to other amputees who don’t know about the service. At first, they don’t think that they need it, because at the start you just don’t know what you can or can’t do. But after a while you realise that just like a handrail in the shower, a personal alarm can help keep you safe”.
“That’s why I volunteer, to help people understand better what life is like as an amputee. The best part about volunteering is that I can actually talk to people who are experiencing limb loss and help them through it.”
Wayne’s story and commitment to helping others is truly inspiring. It’s a reminder that while life is not always a bed of roses, you can still enjoy every day, and give back to your community.
For more information on alarms for NDIS Participants visit this page, talk to your NDIS support, or call us on 1800 685 329
If you’re an NDIS support, visit this page for more information and an application form.