Wendy and Guy Sugden stick together.
Wendy and Guy Sugden stick together. Kerri Burns-Taylor

MS sufferer calls for more services

WENDY Sugden’s shocking diagnosis with MS was not easy to accept and she constantly ponders what the future holds for her when her beloved husband is no longer around.

At the time of diagnosis she said she “was really pissed off and I just kept thinking ‘why did I get it?’”

“At night I would use my brain and really concentrate and think ‘tomorrow I’m going to get up and walk’.

“But I’ve stopped doing that now and I have accepted it but I still get frustrated sometimes when I can’t do something I want to do.

“I have a lovely dog and a lovely husband who loves me and I love him very much.

“Sometimes I can’t understand why he loves me so much,” she said.

The couple said they would like to see more facilities available to both people with a disability and their carers.

Mrs Sugden is considered a high-care person and her husband is on hand 24 hours a day to fulfil almost any need.

Both would like Mr Sugden to be able to take more breaks but said in Warwick there are limited options available.

Mrs Sugden can access temporary respite but is either placed with elderly people or those with a mental disability.

While she concedes she is happy to go wherever she can to provide her hard-working husband with some rest, she said she would like to be able to interact with people of her own age and intellectual capacity.

Mr Sugden is planning a rare week-long fishing trip with friends and Mrs Sugden will spend some time at the Killarney Aged Care facility.

Although the disease has left her in a wheelchair, Mrs Sugden’s wit and alertness have not wavered, despite the occasional bout of short-term memory loss.

Having spent the past 11 years caring for his wife on a daily basis, Mr Sugden said he also fears what would happen to his wife if he were unable to care for her.

“What if something happens to me – if I get hurt or sick?” Mr Sugden asked.

“Where do I go? I thought about that the other night,” Mrs Sugden said.

“Would I go to the MS house in Brisbane? But then I would be too far away from Guy.”

The Warwick Disability Group is conducting a survey to identify and address the needs of people and their carers in the Warwick area.

The deadline is fast approaching and those eligible to participate are being urged to do so as soon as possible.

Pick up your form at: Caltex Service Station (Wallace St), Warwick Library and Mobile Library, Lawrence Springborg’s office (King St), Department of Communities office (King St), Condamine Medical Centre, Allora Pharmacy and St Vinnie’s Killarney.

For more information call Peter on 0408 674 634.

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