Gary steps up to enjoying life and leisure

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The fishing rods are being dusted off, a coldie at the local is a great chance to catch up on the gossip and family reunions and meetings are back on the calendar. 

That wasn’t the case for Swan Hill local Gary Ford – so long ago. Through Intereach, Swan Hill District Health Services and the NDIS, his life has been transformed.  

“My life has been changed. It is that simple,” Gary said.  

Gary has Charcot Marie Tooth and has comorbidities of Pes Cavus foot deformity and osteoarthritis of the spine. It was in the middle of last year that the pain become so unbearable Gary was looking at the amputation of his toes as a form of pain relief. 

However, Intereach connecting Gary with the wonderful team at the Swan Hill District Health Service as well as a identifying the need for a new mobility scooter has resulted in a complete transformation of social and family interaction.  

Gary 5

“Sarah and Tamara at the podiatry unit have been wonderful. They looked at my needs and it has resulted in new custom-made shoes, orthotics and toe jacks. They virtually got me back on my feet,” Gary said.

It means everyday tasks are now part and parcel of Gary’s daily life. He can shop, socialise and importantly look forward to a fish now that his pain has been minimised and he has more mobility. 

It has also provided a chance to catch up with his sister, something that has been three years in the making through Covid and Gary’s general health. 

And he encourages those with a disability to explore the NDIS and how it can assist. 

“I really want people to know how important the NDIS is. It has changed my life. The things so many people take for granted are often unattainable for people with a disability, but through the help and support of partners such as Intereach, you get to experience the life-changing benefits the NDIS can have.”