Margaret Coker with her daughter Jocelyn.
Margaret Coker with her daughter Jocelyn.

Woman devotes life to care

WHEN it comes to motherhood Margaret Coker doesn’t believe she is anything extraordinary.

Yet for 38 years she has been there – almost every moment of every day – for her daughter, Jocelyn.

But she politely protests: Isn’t that what being a parent is about?

What this Warwick retiree doesn’t like to focus on is the fact her daughter has special needs.

Despite never being formally diagnosed Jocelyn, who can walk but can’t talk, read or write, requires fulltime care.

“We went to see a lot of specialists but no one ever gave us a diagnosis,” Mrs Coker said.

“One of Jocelyn’s school principals, a man who had had considerable experience in the special education field, suggested she may have had mild cerebral palsy.”

Today the mother-daughter pair live companionably in Warwick.

Two days a week Jocelyn joins Blue Care’s Cooinda group but relies on her mother for the rest of her care.

“She isn’t any trouble at all,” Mrs Coker said.

“It is like having a king-size toddler around; but she doesn’t need me pampering her all day.

“I have always taken her with me, wherever I go. As a mother you just do what you need to do.”

Impressively she can recall just two occasions when people weren’t kind or compassionate towards Jocelyn.

For Mrs Coker the generosity of family and friends and a strong faith have helped her smile through the trials of motherhood.

But she still advocated the occasion break.

Yesterday she was one of close to 60 local carers who enjoyed a Queensland Carers’ luncheon at Warwick’s Condamine Sports Club.



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