Carer the everyday hero

House with No Steps (now Aruma) Support Worker, Kionne, shares the story of her grandmother who cared for her son with disabilities, Kionne's uncle, almost her whole life.

August 6, 2015

Kionne Thompson is a Support Worker based in Wollongong, NSW. This is the story of her grandmother.

Today many of our everyday heroes appear on either TV screens, magazines or in books, but sometimes our own positive influences and heroes are living in our very own communities. These people sometimes don’t get noticed due to such a modest and special attitude towards themselves that doesn’t require any recognition or certification. They simply call what they do love!

My grandmother Lorraine has worked her whole life taking care of people and assisting to make their lives better, especially for my uncle Mikael. Lorraine is now 68 and still continuing to care for my uncle Mikael, 46.

Since birth he has lived with developmental delays, neurological impairments and as he got older he become legally blind and has only recently had a spinal fusion resulting in aspirated phenomena causing him to live with dysphagia.

This has never brought uncle Mikael down but furthered him to fight for what he believed in for both himself and also supporting his peers. Through an excellent upbringing and influence from his mother Lorraine, he was able to make a meaningful life for himself regardless of what doctors or specialists said.

My grandmother has dedicated her whole life to caring for others before herself. She left school at age 12 so she could look after her baby sister due to her mother being unwell and since then has continuously stepped into a carer’s role, being a sister, a daughter, a mother and a grandmother.

When Nan had uncle Mikael she was told he would not be able to talk or walk and may not be able to do much at all. Despite the unsupportive nature of doctors she continued to push for Mikael to learn more. She attended every and any appointment in order to further Mikael’s learning and health to the highest point it could be. She succeeded in the biggest regard.

Today, Mikael runs a self advocacy group; he attends many conferences and supports his peers in Southern NSW. He has an incredible life thanks to such a big support from my Nan.

My Nan today continues to devote herself to caring for her family; she continues to promote independence for Mikael whilst supporting him to her utmost ability.

Sometimes we do not notice how incredible the parents and carers of the people we support really are, and how influential their tireless work and attitudes to helping those they love can really be.

Today is our day to look around and appreciate those who do wonderful things for us, and notice the everyday hero within the carers and parents supporting someone with disabilities.