Geraldton man who suffered a traumatic brain injury thrives after accessing support

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Geraldton brain cancer survivor Jarrod Douglas has been kicking his rehab goals
Camera IconGeraldton brain cancer survivor Jarrod Douglas has been kicking his rehab goals Credit: Picture: Supplied

A former Geraldton resident who was left with a traumatic brain injury after undergoing cancer treatment has been kicking goals during his rehabilitation.

Jarrod Douglas, 22, received surgery and radiotherapy after he was in 2019 diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of cancer usually found in children under the age of eight.

The treatment affected the young man’s speech and mobility, with Mr Douglas’ grandmother soon realising she was unable to care for him. He was soon put in touch with Geraldton therapy service provider Rocky Bay and a place at the organisation’s Beeliar respite house was found for Mr Douglas.

Waitlists for respite facilities in Geraldton were long and Rocky Bay regional site co-ordinator Cheryl Lockwood said Mr Douglas had benefited significantly from accessing Perth support services.

“Being here has allowed him to connect with a dietitian ... he has gained weight since staying at our respite guest house. Plus he has accessed Rocky Bay equipment services and received a new cushion for his wheelchair,” she said.

During his time at the respite guest house, Mr Douglas has enjoyed day trips, picnics and restaurant dinners and taken part in group activities such as bowling and mini golf.

Rocky Bay Bush Retreat team leader Lucy Wyatt said Mr Douglas’ overall feeling of wellbeing has improved since he arrived at the respite house. “Since arriving at The Bush Retreat, Jarrod has flourished,” she said.

“The changes we have seen in him since he arrived have been amazing to see. From the quiet young man that arrived, to the now outgoing and witty man who always has a smile on his face.

“He enjoys just the simple things like having a morning coffee, a chat with staff, playing Xbox, cooking meals and meeting new people.”

The move to Perth has also made it easier for Mr Douglas to attend medical appointments, obtain referrals and undergo CT scans to allow specialists to monitor his cancer remission.

He is staying at the respite house while he looks for more permanent accommodation in Perth.

Former Geraldton resident Jarrod Douglas enjoys playing games with his respite housemates
Camera IconFormer Geraldton resident Jarrod Douglas enjoys playing games with his respite housemates Credit: Supplied

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails