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Bill's Team desperate for more volunteers

Bill's mother Lindy has cared for Bill with assistance for 25 years.
Bill's mother Lindy has cared for Bill with assistance for 25 years. Marc Stapelberg

Bill's Team co-ordinator Sharon Hand has made a plea to volunteers, physio or nursing students and general members of the community to get involved with Bill's Team.

She said the small contribution of two hours anywhere from once a week to once a month was invaluable to maintaining Bills health.

Ms Hand said it was a unique way to connect with people and contribute to a local family who were reliant on the kindness of the local community.

This year will be the 26th year that Bill Hawkins has remained in bed unable to move, talk or walk.

Bill Hawkins was just 19 when a terrible car accident left him with a condition known as 'locked-in syndrome'.

He is now 45.

Bill is aware of what is going on around him, but can't walk, talk or move.

Lindy and Jim Hawkins actively chose to change every aspect of their life to ensure Bill's health and future.

The enormity of the change cannot be underestimated - from having to book appointments weeks in advance, to installing lifting aids throughout the house, to having health professionals and nurses visit the house at all hours of the day.

Bill's day starts early in the morning with a shower by nurses, and then he has a shave and occasionally a haircut if it is needed.

After this he is fed through a gastronomy feeding tube which is located on the side of his abdomen.

Meals are prepared in the kitchen but are finely blended highly nutritious foods that can be sucked up into a syringe.

The enormity of the change cannot be underestimated - from having to book appointments weeks in advance, to installing lifting aids throughout the house, to having health professionals and nurses visit the house at all hours of the day.

Bill's day starts early in the morning with a shower by nurses, and then he has a shave and occasionally a haircut if it is needed.

After this he is fed through a gastrostomy feeding tube which is located on the side of his abdomen.

Meals are prepared in the kitchen but are finely blended highly nutritious foods that can be sucked up into a syringe.

They move his body around assisting to stretch his limbs in an effort to maintain the muscle tone.

They also perform chest percussion (tapping) to aid his breathing.

The work is not strenuous and almost anybody is able to volunteer.

After this he has lunch and a nap before his afternoon speech exercises to strengthen his facial muscles and improve his swallowing.

Occasionally he gets to go out to a garden down the back of the house in a motorized wheelchair.

The house is lined with books, movies and audio books all aimed at helping to satisfy Bill's still working mind.

Bill's overall good health is a testament to the love and care of his family and the volunteers that have come over the last 25 years.

Sharon Hand is the co-ordinator of Bill's Team.

Give Sharon a call anytime for more information or to arrange to come along to see what they do ... no obligation.

Please telephone 66247512 or mobile 0412246629

email: info@billsteam.com.au



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