Col­leagues ar­range dream home­com­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Emily Mac­don­ald emily. mac­don­ald@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

BRAVE Townsville para­medic Jamie Jack­way has fi­nally re­turned to the North 15 months af­ter a hor­ror fall from a he­li­copter winch near Thurs­day Is­land and now his mates want to make sure his long-awaited home­com­ing is as com­fort­able as pos­si­ble.

Mr Jack­way’s col­leagues de­scribe him as a ‘‘ gen­tle gi­ant’’ al­ways will­ing to lend a hand and in­deed it was while he was res­cu­ing a man from the deck of a ship via he­li­copter that he re­ceived se­vere spinal in­juries af­ter the winch snapped and he plunged 16m onto the deck.

The Townsville lo­cal had only just moved his wife and three chil­dren to Thurs­day Is­land to take up the new job op­por­tu­nity when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred and the fam­ily had to move again to Bris­bane for his ex­haus­tive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion treat­ment.

Mr Jack­way and his fam­ily are cur­rently liv­ing in a hous­ing com­mis­sion prop­erty as the town­house they still own in Townsville is no longer suit­able due to the stair­case.

A team of 15 en­thu­si­as­tic am­bu­lance ser­vice vol­un­teers have been ren­o­vat­ing the town­house so the Jack­way fam­ily can sell it and put the funds to­wards their dream pur­pose­built dis­abil­ity friendly home on a block they own in Kelso.

But with three kids to make room for and ex­pen­sive mod­i­fi­ca­tions to fit, the home won’t come cheap and so Mr Jack­way’s mates have taken on the chal­lenge to raise the funds.

So far lo­cal busi­nesses have been gen­er­ous with No Sweat Air­con­di­tion­ing fit­ting out the town­house and the staff from Spot­light sac­ri­fic­ing the in­di­vid­ual gift cards they all re­ceive each year so the fam­ily could buy cur­tains for their tem­po­rary home.

The Jack­ways were also sur­prised with a swag of do­nated goods at a wel­come home func­tion at the Townsville RSL last night and con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers have been gen­er­ous in re­duc­ing their fees but much more help is needed.

Mr Jack­way said he was over­whelmed by the gen­eros­ity shown to­wards his fam­ily.

‘‘ I’ve got friends and fam­ily up here so it’s good to come home,’’ he said.

‘ ‘ A new house would be lovely. There would be a bit more room for my chair to move around in be­cause it’s fairly big.’’

His wife Me­li­nee said she was proud of the progress her hus­band had made since his ac­ci­dent.

‘‘ When he first had the ac­ci­dent he couldn’t even talk,’’ she said.

‘‘ Now he just keeps tak­ing it day by day, get­ting bet­ter.

‘‘ I re­ally want to say thank you to am­bu­lance of­fi­cers be­cause if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have any of this.’’

Fel­low para­medic Aaron Harper said he hoped the com­mu­nity would get be­hind the ap­peal.

‘ ‘ We’re ask­ing lo­cal com­pa­nies to get on board and help us out,’’ he said.

‘‘ We’re es­pe­cially look­ing for car­pet for the old house but we need a whole range of things for the new home as well.’’

Do­na­tions can be de­posited in the ac­count name J a mi e Jack­way Ap­peal BSB: 704-052 ac­count num­ber : 1 0 3 9 1 8 7 . Goods or fur­nish­ings can be do­nated by call­ing 4796 9068 or email­ing rod­ney. pow­ell@ dcs. qld. gov. au.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www. jja2012im. com.

Photo: SUZANNE LOWE

SUR­PRISE: Jamie Jack­way with wife Me­li­nee and chil­dren Kavakore, 12, T’challa, 7, and Noe­lani, 12, at their wel­come home party last night

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