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When retiree Peter Stagg was told by specialists he would never walk again, he set out to prove them wrong.
Today, Peter can make his way around Brightwater Home in Palmerston North using nothing more than a walker, but he says it has been a long, hard road to getting back on his feet again.
“My wife, Joscelyn, moved to Brightwater for respite care in August last year so I was home alone and one day my feet swelled up, so I called an ambulance and was taken to hospital,” Peter explains.
“They found a tumor in my spinal chord and it blew my legs away from under me. I couldn’t walk.”
Peter was assessed as needing permanent hospital level care a few days before Christmas. That’s when he joined his wife at Enliven’s Brightwater Home in Palmerston North.
“By the time I got here I was anti everything. I couldn’t care less if I got better or not, but I didn’t want to leave my wife, so eventually that side of me won.”
Peter says the ongoing support and encouragement from his family and the staff at Brightwater Home is what helped him to walk again.
“My carer [Brightwater Home’s Sonya Mitchell-Te Amo] and I just clicked. She has such a cheerful, positive and friendly attitude and everyone else here was so keen to help,” says Peter.
“We slowly set goals to walk a bit further each time using a gutter frame, and the goal was to be able to walk to the dining room – it seemed almost impossible at the time.”
Peter says he has made the most progress over the last few months, leading him to be able to walk by himself again.
“I was making good progress so one day Sonya said we should try using a walker, and that was that, I was away!”
“It’s not perfect, but for someone that wasn’t meant to walk again I’d say it’s pretty good, I can’t say enough about what they have done for me here at Brightwater.”
Having been married for 46 years, Joscelyn says being able to have rooms on opposite sides of the hallway at Brightwater Home is a plus, and they couldn’t be happier with the care.
“We chose this place for the people. They are brilliant – they’re so helpful and friendly,” says Joscelyn.
“When he was learning to walk again I would follow him in my wheelchair. I’m very proud of him.”
Brightwater Home and Brightwater Retirement Village are operated by Enliven, part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central, and provide independent retirement villas as well as specialist hospital and dementia care from 69 Brightwater Terrace in Palmerston North.
Other Enliven homes in the Manawatu include Willard Home in Palmerston North and Coombrae Home in Feilding which both offer rest home level care. To find out more call 0800 36 54 83 (that’s 0800 ENLIVEN) or click here..