It’s a long road back for Gareth

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - TALISA ELEY

AN asthma at­tack has left a young Gold Coast dad with a dev­as­tat­ing brain in­jury and need­ing around-the-clock care as he learns to walk and talk again.

Gareth Au­cock, 26, had just moved to Labrador with his girl­friend and two-year-old daugh­ter Vi­o­let, when he had a near­fa­tal at­tack in Au­gust.

Fam­ily mem­bers are still at a loss to un­der­stand what set off the cat­a­strophic at­tack, which hap­pened in the mid­dle of the night.

Gareth’s partner Juliet per­formed CPR for 20 ag­o­nis­ing min­utes be­fore he was rushed to hos­pi­tal and put in an in­duced coma.

His par­ents Glen and Sue, who spend each day by his side as he re­cov­ers in the Brain In­jury Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Unit in Bris­bane, said progress had been grad­ual.

The fam­ily says it cel­e­brates each foot­step, word and hand squeeze.

“It will be a long road ahead but we’ll walk that road to­gether as a fam­ily,” Mrs Au­cock said.

“I don’t think Gareth will be as he was be­fore, but in what ways we’re not sure yet. It will be years of re­cov­ery.”

Some days are tougher than oth­ers, she said.

“He’s an old soul and he’s got a re­ally good sense of hu­mour. He has his mo­ments when he sheds some tears and he can’t be­lieve he’s like this, but he’s very de­ter­mined and he’s al­ways been a hard worker,” Mrs Au­cock said.

The fam­ily has called for bet­ter ac­cess to med­i­ca­tion for asth­mat­ics to make the con­di­tion eas­ier to treat.

“Most asth­mat­ics rely on Ven­tolin, the blue in­haler, and fail to get a pre­scrip­tion for their pre­ven­ter which is more ex­pen­sive,’’ she said.

“We would like to see an asthma reg­is­ter set up so that they don’t have to book a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment to get it.

“We’d like peo­ple to take asthma more se­ri­ously. They don’t re­alise the im­pli­ca­tions of it. “We’d like peo­ple to recog­nise the im­por­tance of hav­ing a plan in place for their asthma.”

A Go Fund Me page launched by Gareth’s co-work­ers from Wool­worths, where he worked for more than 10 years, has raised more than $8000 in a month to help with his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. Go to fight-fund-for-gareth.

Gareth Au­cock with girl­friend Juliet (above) and mum Sue (right).

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