Freedom to Live Independently: Mitch’s Story

Tunstall - Mitch

People living with a disability have the same right as others to enjoy choice and control over their own lives.

Registered NDIS provider and global leader in assistive technologies, Tunstall Healthcare formulates individualised solutions for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Our team develops unobtrusive assistance packages for people with physical conditions such as paraplegia, quadriplegia and amputated limbs. We also assist those with cerebral palsy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Down syndrome and acquired brain injury.

Twenty-three year old Mitch is one such example. A young man, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, hitting the gym, and hanging out with friends. While he lives at home with his mum and stepdad right now, he’s looking forward to moving out.

Mitch also lives with a disability.

At 19, he was partying with friends when he dived into a pool and broke his neck in three places. Now a quadriplegic, he has minimal movement in his neck and arms and is reliant on assistance from carers for tasks like preparing meals and personal care.

Despite the enormous changes to his life, he is positive and proactive. “You can’t just lay there and just suffer,” he says.

Keen to regain his independence, as part of his rehabilitation the Princess Alexandra Spinal Unit referred Mitch to a transition care program where he embraced assistive technology. A Tunstall emergency alarm system was tailor-made to accommodate his circumstances and his range of movement.

In addition to a personal pendant he now wears around the neck, Mitch’s wheelchair is also custom fitted with a ‘jellybean’ button. A highly sensitive homecare solution adjusted his specific needs, the jellybean button is ideal for his limited mobility because it has a large surface area that is sensitive to the slightest touch.

With the Tunstall alarm system, Mitch can connect with people remotely and access help in any situation from anywhere in his home. It has contributed enormously to his growing confidence and independence, reducing the need for around-the-clock care and providing peace-of-mind for both himself and his family.

How can I be confident it would work for me?

When the alarm is activated in an emergency, it dials Tunstall’s 24/7 monitoring centre. A care consultant helps you assess your situation and contacts a carer or family member.

With Tunstall’s assistive technology solutions, you will feel safer, more independent, and confident that you can manage more things on your own, just like Mitch.

“If I’m falling out of my chair, I’ve got two options – I can press the jellybean button on my wheelchair controller or the pendant around my neck to activate the emergency alarm,” he says. “The connected care technology helps me to be independent and it makes me feel safe knowing there is someone to get me help if I need it.”

Thanks to assistive technology, Mitch envisions a more independent future, living on his own with minimal assistance from carers – the same as any young adult would want!

He also hopes to become a motivational speaker and inspire people of all ages, reminding people that although life may not turn out the way you thought it would, you can still do great things when you have a positive attitude.

Come and see Tunstall at the Gold Coast Disability Expo on Friday and Saturday, August 3 and 4. Check out our assistive technology on the Tunstall website or call our friendly customer service officers on 1800 603 377.