Younger Adults story – Callum

Callum was and still is an adrenalin junky. At 16, Callum started to make stunt videos for his YouTube channel. Unfortunately, during one of his stunt acts, Callum fell 30 feet. He sustained an extensive head trauma after hitting forehead on a stone window ledge and fell backwards onto the back of his head. He also sustained broken ribs, leg, arm and fractures in his spine.

Due to his injuries, Callum spent two years in hospital, six months of which he spent in intensive care. Callum has no memory of the accident at all and since then his memory is very muddled and come in stages, a bit like dreams.

After a lot of surgery and rehabilitation Callum was moved to a facility to continue his rehabilitation, however he was not around those who were of the same needs as him. This was not the best environment for Callum but he made a lot of progress in just a year.

After a year Callum moved wards as he started to develop challenging behaviour, this is when Callum started to suffer with his own mental health and inevitably went downhill. His mobility soon started to decline, his behaviour got worse and he did not feel well supported. This is when his social worker decided to look into live-in care.

The social worker went to a lot of different care companies to find a live-in care package, but many were not able to meet Cullum’s specific needs and a lot of hope was lost. Then, Callum met a new care needs assessor – John.

John carried out his assessment and felt Agincare were best suited to enable Callum to move back home and improve his quality of life.

Callum was carefully matched to Pawel who became his live-in care assistant. John stipulated that Pawel needed to have at least two weeks training with the current facility before Callum arrived home. This gave Callum a chance to have trust in his Pawel and to get to know him better before moving back home.

It was not an easy start as this was a very emotional time for Callum. Callum finds it difficult to process emotions which puts him at risk of misunderstanding information and being misunderstood.

Pawel was very patient and was able to handle most situations that came up. With some initial support from social services and his neurologist specialist, Pawel and Callum have worked together so well that Callum has now been discharged from any support groups with Agincare managing his care entirely.

Since Callum has been home, he has gained more memory and his mental health has improved. His speech has developed and he is now starting to draw and write poetry again!  Pawel is a grate advocate for Callum and has lots of wonderful ideas to get Callum out in the community and socialising again.

Callum has a lot of friends and family with whom he is very close to. Before live in-care no one would visit as they felt uncomfortable around other residents at the previous facility. Callum could not see his young daughter due to the nature of the care home. Callum would have to wait weeks to see his daughter when his ex-partner would allow him and only when Callum was visiting his mum at her house.

Now, Callum sees his daughter nearly every weekend and his mum has a very active role in Callum’s care which she has wanted to do. Callum often has someone visitor – they turn up with pizza and a few beers.

 

Pawel takes Callum into town every other day. Every Friday (before lock down) they attend live rock gigs in Weymouth in local pubs and clubs, which is the highlight of Callum’s week. In Callum’s view “it makes me feel normal “.

Pawel and Jodie continue to look into more activities that Callum can do such as swimming and attending the gym. Callum wants to do more wheel chair-based sports and would like to go kayaking and abseiling, all of which is not out of the realms of possibilities as they once were. With live in care the possibilities are endless and Callum has hope for the future for the first time in five years.

The Agincare team work very closely with Callum. Pre COVID-19 Jodie, an Agincare field care supervisor visited Callum frequently to see how he was getting on and to review his care package, but also to visit as a friend. Due to restrictions these visits have been put on hold, but thanks to technology Jodie and Callum now have regular video calls.

Since COVID-19, Pawel has been unable to support Callum but we were able to secure a new care worker, Miguel. Miguel has enabled Callum’s support to remain consistent during a difficult and uncertain time. Consistency with care has meant that Callum has continued to progress and has developed a new friendship with Miguel.

When asked what has been the biggest improvement for him since he has been under our care? Callum stated “All the staff from the DOM care and live-in care workers, talk to me like a human being.”

“I have my life back to the best it can be, I can see my friends when I want and my family, I have a better sense of stoicism. I am so happy and want others in my position to have the same level of care I have, and most importantly… hope”.

Callum has said how “grateful” he is to Agincare for supporting him and giving him “more friends in the form of Pawel and Jodie”.

To find out more about our support for younger adults with an acquired spinal cord injury, call us on 01305443115.