Waking up from a first coma is considered good fortune. Waking up from three comas is a story we can’t all tell.
“When I woke up from my third coma, I knew I had to make changes in my life.” Karl, who lives in Melbourne, has come through some difficult times but says support from Homeless Persons Program (HPP) team member Linda Cropley has made this year one of the best.
“We had Karl referred to us after he was to be discharged to homelessness. I met him and had a chance to secure somewhere for him to live,” Linda Cropley says.
“There were a few false starts with residences and he is more comfortable alone. He now lives comfortably by himself, is addressing physical and mental health issues and has a positive future ahead of him.”
These days, Karl lives in an apartment and is working to put his life and his body back in order, with Linda’s help. He talks about Linda being his inspiration, “She has changed my life. Without Linda, I wouldn’t have the get up and go to get to my appointments, I would struggle to find the motivation and I wouldn’t be living independently. I can’t imagine how different life would be without Linda and the Homeless Person’s Program team in my life.”
Karl’s story is filled with challenge. He has had three incidents of coma because of a series of poor health outcomes from his time spent homeless, from chronic smoking, hepatitis, and a variety of physical and emotional challenges, as well as mental health issues.
“I spent time in jail and my choices after I got out were reduced. I struggle to walk a long way now but I have joined the gym and because of Linda, I make sure I go. I need to get my body in a better condition. I didn’t think I would still be alive now so I suppose it is time to start taking care of myself.”
Linda speaks highly of Karl, too.
“He is really motivated to make good decisions and so he is driving his own recovery. Having independent housing makes a real difference to him and allows him to control those things he can, like diet and exercise.”
Karl’s journey represents the impact the Homeless Person’s Program can have on helping individuals to move out of the cycle of homelessness, to access services and create connections that support greater health and wellbeing.
And for the future? For Karl, it’s looking brighter.
Read more about Bolton Clarke’s ongoing work supporting wellbeing and independence in our 2018 Year in Review.