Nat Builds His Future Thanks to Drake Medox New Zealand
May 17, 2014, started like any other autumn day when Nat Manville, a sports enthusiast with the athletic skill to match, stepped out onto his school’s rugby field to play a pre-season game. This date is now etched in Nat’s memory as the day his life changed forever.
Still at secondary school, and just four days past his 18th birthday, Nat suffered a spinal cord injury from playing the sport he loved. He is now classified as being a C5 tetraplegic with complete paralysis below his chest.
When the spinal cord is significantly damaged, there will be a loss of function and sensation at or below the level of the injury. Paralysis occurs because the messages from the brain cannot reach the affected nerves to ‘tell’ the muscles how and when to move. This also means feedback from the nerves about touch, pain or temperature cannot get back to the brain.
For Nat and his family, navigating their way through the level of care required after his injury meant adjusting to a challenging new way of life.
When a life-changing event occurs, it’s difficult to know where to turn. For Nat and his family post hospital, their journey into care services was just beginning. Nat’s accident left him requiring teams of homecare specialists to provide 20 hours of daily support.
How can you ensure that the needs of your loved ones are covered? Where can you find a high-standard of quality of care? How can you help create a bright future for those you love? Unfortunately for many, this can involve a few false starts.
Nat’s family used several agencies but found that the care was inadequate due to a continual shortage of quality healthcare workers and poor service levels.
“This resulted in my Mum having to do the bulk of my caring which was not an ideal situation, especially when my care requirements can average around 20 hours a day. All this changed when we started using Drake Medox,” Nat explained.
How Drake Medox helped:
Drake International opened its Drake Medox health and homecare recruitment division in 1971. In New Zealand, Drake Medox is one of the largest providers of homecare services, providing nurses and support workers to those with high and complex needs at home and in the community. Our services range from a few hours a day to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It’s important that Drake Medox understands the complexities involved for each of our clients when it comes to care services. Life needs to be viewed from our client’s perspective. How does his or her disability impact them hourly, or daily? What kind of care services can we provide to make life better? How can we help our clients reach their own unique goals and aspirations?
Our focus is to develop and implement ‘person centred’ care by working closely with each client, key health professionals and community agencies.
For Nat, a key person for his team was Gavin Rolton. In 2014, Drake Medox hired Gavin as a Recruitment Consultant. Gavin is also a C5 tetraplegic, paralysed from the collarbone down due to a diving accident. Gavin had been out of the workforce since his accident, and despite having no experience in the recruitment industry, it was recognised that he had many transferable skills suitable for a homecare recruiter role.
Gavin had lived the experience of receiving complex care after his own injury. With his insight and knowledge, he understood what Nat was going through emotionally and physically. His experiences and support have had a major and positive impact on Nat and his care journey. Today Gavin plays a lead role within the Drake Medox homecare team.
“Not only did we change to Drake Medox to obtain the daily support I needed from a care team, but more importantly, I met Gavin,” said Nat. “Given his own disability, I knew he could relate to my needs and situation. This was so important to me. His knowledge and expansive experience around high and complex care helped make the transition seamless. He has helped me and my family with guidance and support and answering a lot of questions along the way.”
As a young adult who suffered a major upheaval in his life, Drake Medox is committed to supporting Nat on his new life journey.
Recognising his youth and unique needs, Medox has built a quality care program aligned to Nat's life goals, with a team who have the right mix of age and experience.
Our support plans for Nat and others like him are goal oriented. The focus is around independence, encouragement and the development of skills designed to bridge the gap between current and potential ability, and encourage doing “with”, not “for”.
For nearly 12 months, we have been successfully coordinating Nat’s 24-hour care program.
“The other big win for me has been the quality and consistency of staff,” Nat said. "Drake Medox really go out of their way to look after all their support workers and carers. When people feel valued, they act accordingly, and they also stay. For my family and me, the decision to use Drake Medox was the right one,” Nat added. “With a consistent and experienced care team, I’m able to get out and do things that I love. I no longer have to worry if someone is going to turn up or not.”
Life has certainly changed for Nat, but his passion for sports, and in particular rugby, lives on. He is now playing wheelchair rugby and is in the development team for the Wheel Blacks (New Zealand’s national wheelchair rugby team). Nat has also started doing some voluntary work at the NZ Rugby Museum, offering him another opportunity to live his passion.
Drake Medox is proud that its workforce reflects the community it serves and delivers care services that are relevant and inclusive to help all its clients build a bright future.
Client-focused care—when you need it
Choosing a care service provider can be stressful for any family. Care services are delivered in people’s homes often at a time of great vulnerability; therefore, it is critical to select a provider whose services are built on the foundations of respect, dignity, and professionalism.
As a leading nursing, homecare and disability support staff agency, Drake Medox provides person-centred care for your specific requirements at home and in the community.
This article has a photo of Nat Manville playing wheelchair rugby. Photo by Mark James Sports Shots.