Tony has had some ups and downs in the 20 years we’ve been supporting him, including some serious health problems. In 2000 Tony had to have a kidney transplant, with his mum Mary stepping forward as the donor.
Although now a common operation, a kidney transplant is complex and often involves a long period of preparation.
Tony had to have dialysis for some time before the operation, and then ongoing medical treatment afterwards.
As Tony’s communication is limited a big part of our job was helping him understand each stage of the process.
We attended all appointments with him and liaised with doctors, explaining to Tony in ways he could understand what would happen next and what he would have to do.
Working with health care professionals we devised a health care plan and negotiated funding with commissioners to ensure there were adequate resources to implement it.
We also ensured our staff were trained by health care professionals so they were competent to support Tony with the home-based aspects of his care.
Over the years his health needs have changed, so we have had to adapt our support.
But through it all Tony has remained active and cheerful.
We think it is important that Tony’s life isn’t dominated by managing his health, so we have always worked to help him keep in contact with his family and explore his interests.
He stays with his mum, who lives nearby, at weekends and has a busy schedule during the week.
Not long after recovering from his operation it became apparent in planning meetings with Tony that he would like to get a job.
We worked out what sort of work Tony would like to do, what skills he had to offer, and then liaised with employment agencies to find something suitable.
Through this process Tony got a job at McDonalds, which he has held ever since. He’s there two mornings a week, opening doors for customers, sweeping up and clearing tables.
His McDonalds cap has four stars on it now, which is the highest level McDonalds staff can attain, and an indicator of his commitment, loyalty and hard work.
We rota staff to accompany Tony to work, who are on hand to support him if he needs help with his duties. His keyworker says that
“Tony enjoys keeping busy and likes to be on the go most of the time. He likes the busy atmosphere of McDonalds.”
We have worked with Tony to help him develop other areas of interest to him, including football and motorsports.
Tony watches matches and races on television, and we also provide additional staff support so that he can go to White Hart Lane to see Spurs play, and Silverstone to watch Ferraris race.