GPH Real Stories - Ashleigh's Story

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November 14, 2019

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Ashleigh was referred to Grand Pacific Health's (GPH)
Integrated Team Care (ITC) program in the Australian
Capital Territory (ACT), through her GP as an Aboriginal
woman living with chronic illness.
Ashleigh was struggling to afford specialist visits and as a
result wasn’t managing too well. She suffers from sleep
apnoea and was using a 10-year-old mask with her
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine -
held together with sticky tape, which also had tubes that
contained mould. Ashleigh’s other conditions included an
injured foot, reflex sympathetic nervous dystrophy,
chronic pain, asthma, major depression and anxiety.
Managing her pain was a daily struggle and her
medication was costing her a lot of money but despite
taking dozens of pills, they weren’t really working for her.
She was also on a long waiting list to have an MRI for her
right foot.

“I couldn’t afford to keep living that way,” said Ashleigh.
Her Support Worker Taylor – a Registered Nurse with
GPH, helped get Ashleigh a referral to a private pain
specialist and GPH assisted with funding this. Changes
were made to her daily medications and she was also
able to legally access marijuana oil to manage her pain
and anxiety.
GPH’s ITC Program also paid for a new mask and tubes
for her CPAP machine, which means she is able to use
the equipment and sleep through the night. An MRI
revealed how far her dystrophy condition had 

degenerated in her right foot meaning specialists can
now target that effectively, and she was also assisted to
obtain a Mental Health Care Plan to access affordable
psychological services.
“Taylor has been wonderful, open and honest about the
services GPH can and cannot assist with.”
“She has helped to connect me with services I wouldn’t
otherwise have been able to find or afford.”
“She also came with me to appointments, which
sometimes meant wiping dribble off the floor from my
service dog who comes with me to help manage my
anxiety in public,” added Ashleigh.
Taylor says seeing how far Ashleigh has come makes
her happy:

“She was in a really bad place with her health
management when I met her and was clearly struggling
financially with her medications as well.”
“Seeing her so much happier and healthier now is why I
got into health care, and why I still love my job after
working here for 3 years,” added Taylor
GPH's ACT ITC Program is funded through the ACT
Primary Health Network; 'Capital Health
Network' (CHN) - An Australian Government Initiative.


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