As Multicap recognises its 60th year, Honorary Life Member and father of Multicap’s long term customer of more than 40 years, Neil Heather reflects proudly on the support his son has received.
Neil Heather hates to think of his son’s life journey had it not been for Multicap.
“Without Multicap I hesitate to envisage how the pathway for Ian would have been,” Neil said. “As a family, we simply could not have coped.”
As a newborn, Ian experienced neonatal hypoglycemia, which caused severe intellectual and physical impairment. His care needs were so great that he was placed in care when only two years old.
Ian was six when the family was referred to the Multicap school in the 1970s and later Apex House at Eight Mile Plains.
“When Apex House opened, Ian had the good fortune to be offered residential accommodation with continued school attendance including the comprehensive therapy services,” Neil said.
“When he first came to Apex House he was not mobile or verbal, but the therapies team managed to get him mobile, albeit limited, which is a major achievement assisted by the hydrotherapy pool.”
Ian now lives in Multicap’s Runcorn Supported Independent Living house and makes regular day trips to the Eight Mile Plains Hub for day activities, including swimming – one of his favourite pastimes along with his love of classical music.
Neil says the support Multicap has offered his son over the past 40 years had developed with his needs.
“Ian is probably fortunate to have lived in times when disability support has made remarkable strides,” he said.
“Initially, Multicap was largely children and family oriented, but with ageing we have a growing proportion of adults who have effectively reached a plateau in their development and need to maintain a quality of life within the limits of their abilities. This has been a major development factor in Multicap’s history.”
The Honorary Life Member and former Multicap board member, Neil recognised staff at all levels of the organisation for their dedication.
“One of the strengths of Multicap has been the level of dedication and competency of staff at the levels of both therapy professionals and management,” he said. “The level of this dedication across the organisation is quite remarkable.”
Neil says Multicap’s other strength in past years before NDIS had been its ability to raise and manage funds for capital facilities.
“This enabled the organisation to provide opportunities for growth of services.”
Now in his early 50s, Ian continues to live a life filled with the things he loves most – swimming, music, friends and family.
“He enjoys fullness of life and that’s all any parent could hope for their child,” Neil said.