For most of the last decade Amy Pilson could not escape a sense of loneliness and isolation.
Amy lives with paraplegia and uses a wheelchair. Her home was a ground unit at her grandmother’s house and the outside stairs were a constant reminder of the life she was missing.
“Everything else is up the stairs. Three bedrooms, main kitchen, my family all live up there,” she said.
“It isn’t the nicest having to be so separated from your family. You do live together, but totally separate,” she said. “I think now, ‘How did I survive that long?'”
Ms Pilson said she remembers being brought upstairs only a few times when she lived on the ground floor. During family gatherings, it was easier for guests to come down and see her.
Her ground floor unit was modified for accessibility, but it was cramped. Her wheelchair could barely fit in the main corridor. Manoeuvring into the bathroom often left gashes in the door and walls.
“It’s kind of amazing that you put up with things because you have to,” Ms Pilson said.
In the last few months, her world has changed dramatically. She is now living in her own apartment, specially designed for people with disabilities.
“I have my own independence. I don’t have to rely on my nan, or my brother to help me out,” she said. “I just wanted to be out on my own, and do my own thing.”
Her unit is one of 10 apartments for people with a disability interspersed in a building of 110-units in the Hunter region of New South Wales.
Source: ABC News