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Shan shines with Royal Rehab support

“Here at her fully-supported home on Charles Street Ryde, staff go above and beyond their job requirements — it feels like family.’’ – Richard, Shan’s husband

We had the pleasure of spending time with Shan, a proud Royal Rehab resident, and her husband, Richard.
From acute hospital, to aged care, to a purpose-built supported home – it has been a long journey for the young family who have found ‘a home away from home’ for their beloved wife and mother following a life-changing event in 2018.

According to Richard, “My daughter and I have received overwhelming support from everyone at Royal Rehab. From the cleaners to the CEO, everyone genuinely cares.“

An accomplished academic, Shan moved to Australia from China when she was just 20 years of age on a full scholarship for a PhD in Statistics from the University of New South Wales. Over the years, the talented statistician rose to become a world expert in big data and predictive modelling.

After returning to the office following a work lunch one day however, she suddenly experienced a severe headache. She collapsed and was rushed to hospital. Shan was diagnosed with a haemorrhagic stroke which greatly impacted her movement, speech and breathing functions. She underwent a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure to assist with breathing, and was unable to speak.

An incredibly challenging time for the family, Richard recalls, ‘’We were given a life expectancy of just three years.’’

Shan was then moved into a high-care aged facility. However, due to her determination and resilience, Shan’s doctor later referred her to Royal Rehab.

Shan spent one year at the Royal Rehab Brain Injury Unit as an inpatient. Here, she received a tailored rehabilitation program by the multidisciplinary team of allied health professionals including physiotherapists, speech therapists, dietitians and recreational therapists. Or, as Richard tells us, “It was practically every allied health profession you could poke a stick at supporting Shan!”

Then, in 2020, a vacancy became available at our Charles Street disability support home and the family were delighted. At this modern, purpose-built facility. Shan receives 24/7 support with her everyday needs and benefits from ongoing speech therapy and physiotherapy. She has improved speech and physical strength, and has her sights set firmly on her next goal: “I want to walk again.”

Shan also benefits from Royal Rehab’s recreational therapy program, regularly enjoying outings to the local library and nearby parklands.

Shan continues to defy the odds. Richard is beyond thrilled with the care and support Shan continues to receive and describes our team as, “large, supportive and highly professional. Everyone is working together, so that Shan continues to improve.”