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Katrina Ford Sargood on Collaroy Interview

Katrina Ford Sargood on Collaroy Interview

For many people in a wheelchair, going on vacation can often be a very stressful undertaking with much of the available accommodation/attractions currently lacking the resources to properly assist.

A new world-class accessible resort for people with spinal cord injury called Sargood on Collaroy is changing that for Australians living with a spinal injury.

The facility bridges luxury and accessibility, with a state-of-the-art therapy area, gymnasium and expert staff who are up to date with the latest research and evidence-based innovations in spinal injury management and recreational therapy. The facility provides a number of innovative activities such as a Beach Access program, adaptive cycling, yoga and golf that allows guests in wheelchairs to safely access the beautiful beach, water and surrounding area under the supervision of trained clinicians.

More information is available and bookings can be made at http://sargoodoncollaroy.com/.
You can also follow the experiences of resort guests using the hashtag #AtSargood on social media.


Interview with Katrina Ford

One of the people to experience a visit to Sargood on Collaroy includes single mother of three, Katrina, who is living with a spinal injury.


Question: Can you tell us about your visit to Sargood on Collaroy?

Katrina Ford: I was rendered a T4 complete paraplegic after the balcony of my home collapsed in 2006. After 12 months spent both in hospital and rehab, I began adjusting to life in a wheelchair.

I heard about the new resort from a friend living in the area who recommended I have a look at it.

I'm really glad I did. Sargood on Collaroy provides great opportunity to meet and network with others living with a spinal cord injury and really allows you to see what's activities and recreation are available that you wouldn't think otherwise. The staff also have the knowledge to give you confidence to try new things.

I also love the fact that your family can be included in our stay and participate with the recreational activities available without having the pressure of having to be the ones responsible for my safety and/or comfort and can just focus on enjoying time together.


Question: How is Sargood on Collaroy different to other resorts?

Katrina Ford: Sargood on Collaroy is a destination where everyone has the ability to enjoy time with each other and get to do things together, rather than a place where your family still needs to provide care.

For many people in a wheelchair, going on vacation can often be a very stressful undertaking with much of the available accommodation/attractions currently lacking the resources to properly assist. Sargood on Collaroy bridges luxury and accessibility for people with spinal injury, with a state-of-the-art therapy area, gymnasium and expert staff who are up to date with the latest research and evidence-based innovations in spinal injury management and recreational therapy.

The facility provides a number of innovative activities such as a Beach Access program, adaptive cycling, yoga and golf will allow guests in wheelchairs to safely access the beautiful beach, water and surrounding area under the supervision of trained clinicians. The facility is part of leading Australian disability organisation Royal Rehab's ongoing efforts to address the challenges faced by people with disabilities when travelling.

I was impressed with the cutting edge facilities and was really pleased to have the opportunity to spend some quality time on vacation with my daughter and granddaughter in such a stress-free environment.


Question: How long has it been since your last holiday?

Katrina Ford: This was really my first proper holiday in about 10 years! As a single mum, my children have been my primary carers since the accident so we haven't had the time or resources to take a holiday. The fact that I was eligible for a stay at Sargood on Collaroy under the NDIS was an added bonus and helped make it all possible. If something like this had been available when I first had my accident it would have made the biggest difference for our family, especially my kids.

When I had my accident my kids were 8, 11 and 14 and we all went through a big transition where we had to redefine roles. My kids became my predominant carers which meant that whenever I wanted to go anywhere I needed their help. A place like Sargood is a total game changer for a family who are adjusting to a member having a spinal injury. It creates an opportunity to enjoy each other without the stress or responsibility of -looking after their mum'. It also creates an environment where they, as children, could of met other kids in similar circumstances.


Question: What did you enjoy most about your Sargood on Collaroy stay?

Katrina Ford: Sargood on Collaroy was great because you get to see activities are available that you wouldn't normally think is possible for a person in a wheelchair. Like I said, if something like this had been available when I first had my accident it would have made the biggest difference for our family. The truth is that a crisis in any family can tear a family apart, and without any support and relaxation time, this is only exacerbated. It was great to be able to just relax and spend some bonding time, without having to worry about my needs.


Question: What types of activities did you participate in at Sargood on Collaroy?

Katrina Ford: During my stay I was able to participate in art activities and assisted yoga, I could fully participate knowing there was qualified staff on hand to help me. I cannot wait to do water activities in the warmer months. I grew up by the beach and I miss the water. I miss being able to swim and to just walk along the beach. Without a place like Sargood, the ability to access water sports is limited. I have been in the ocean 3 times in 11 years and I am so excited to visit in the summer where I plan on being in the water every day.


Question: Will you return to Sargood on Collaroy?

Katrina Ford: Absolutely! I'm already looking forward to coming back for our second stay which is booked in over Christmas. My parents, my kids and friends are all planning to stay with me on different days, this is something I have not been able to do since my accident.


Interview by Brooke Hunter



 

 
 



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