THANKFUL: Rachel Supple with her husband Dave Supple and friend and carer Geoff Lillymann.
THANKFUL: Rachel Supple with her husband Dave Supple and friend and carer Geoff Lillymann. Trevor Veale

Dorrigo family grateful for brain injury service support

HOW can I ever help someone who has helped me so much?

Rachel Supple, of Dorrigo, asked herself this question in recent times about The Mid North Coast Brain Injury Rehabilitation Service.

The service have played a critical role in her family's life in the last three and half years supporting her husband Dave, who was left with a permanent brain injury from a cycling accident five years ago.

It has been a tumultuous journey for the family with doctors initially telling them they were uncertain Dave may never walk, talk or eat again.

It was that uncertainty that empowered Rachel to keep fighting to bring her husband home, telling doctors: 'if you keep him alive I'll deal with the rest'.

With his family by his side, Dave fought to walk, talk and eat again and after an 18 month stint in Sydney and Newcastle hospitals, he was declared well enough to return home to Dorrigo.

"Being able to walk up the (house) steps when we didn't know if he'd ever be able to walk again and it was a real milestone, a real event in our family," Rachel said.

Transitioning back into Dorrigo life was made a lot smoother with the assistance of the MNCBIRS.

From carers paper work to helping Rachel and her children, Joel and Zoe care for Dave over the years, the mother-of-two is grateful for the on-going support of the service for her family and Dave.

"They don't pretend to know exactly your situation but they understand everything and they just support you though it," she said.

"I know that without them, I don't know how I'd cope because they are just great, they know us all."

Last year, Rachel's discovery of a fun run in Uluru provided her the answer to thanking and offering help to the MNCBIRS that has helped her family so much.

Running has served as an outlet for Rachel as she cares for Dave and now she will be running the 11km Outback Marathon fun run at the end of next month to raise money and awareness for the important unit.

"It's really important that they are made known of because there will be people who will need it one day and don't realise that they're available."

Despite Dave's cognitive condition deteriorating in the last year, Rachel remains optimistic moving forward.

"He's not so great any more but he's still here with us. He's like the major part of our life," she said.

"We don't know what's happening now, we don't know where its going to go but the main thing now is he's healthy and he seems happy enough and he's had this time at home and we were happy to get him home,"

To donate for Rachel's run, visit her Running for Brain Injury Services Go Fund Me page.

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