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Wendy's Story

Wendy Wilson first met her husband, Neville, when she was 13. Their story spans five decades. In their twenties, they led a rich and exciting life in New Zealand, racing cars and jet boats.

It was 1994 when Wendy and Neville took a big leap: moving to Perth, Western Australia. Two years after the move, in the height of summer, Wendy noticed her feet were freezing cold.

“I went to my GP and was shocked to be sent to the neurologist. Eventually I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS).”

“It’s a shattering diagnosis,” says Wendy. It was 1996 and Wendy recalls that there was still a lack of knowledge at that time.

“Even though I’d been working as a nurse, I could name what I knew about MS on one hand.”

Wendy and her family managed her condition at home for many years, but in 2014 made the decision for Wendy to move in to MSWA supported accommodation at Fern River. It was a huge decision, but Wendy says she doesn’t look back.

She relocated to the new MSWA Butler facility when it opened in 2019.

The high-support accommodation facility in Butler is purpose-built for people living with neurological conditions like Wendy. Residents have their own self-contained unit, with a private patio, as well as shared communal areas where they can socialise. All with onsite 24-hour, 7-day a week care.

Not only is Wendy’s new home closer to her family, it also has a service centre next door where she accesses physiotherapy and social support.

She and Neville speak every day.

Wendy is affected most by neuropathic pain and loss of function – she is unable to walk. She says the hardest thing about her MS diagnosis was the impact on family and the day-to-day challenges of care. She is grateful to now be in supported accommodation, where the staff have become a different sort of family for her.

“There is a ‘can do’ attitude at Butler. You couldn’t get more dedicated staff.”

Wendy is a very spiritual person, who enjoys gardening and is a skilled floral artist. Her arrangements decorate the communal areas at Butler. She particularly delights in having her family come to visit her in her apartment.

“My husband and girls come to visit me at Butler and they know I’m well looked after. If they’re happy, I’m happy. I’m pretty lucky.”

When you purchase an MSWA Multi-Choice Raffle ticket, your support funds the development, construction and day-to-day operation of MSWA’s high support accommodation facilities – such as our MSWA Butler precinct, which boasts a state-of-the-art services and support centre, allowing our residents access to onsite physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, speech pathology, dietetics, counselling, social welfare services and peer group sessions.