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Mr Hutchinson “Punk”

Maes Mwldan is a modern purpose built extra care scheme run by Family Housing Association - a not-for-profit housing and support organisation providing affordable homes and high quality care and support services in Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

Anthony Hutchinson, known as “Punk” age 35, was involved in a horrific car accident in Pembrokeshire four years ago when the car he was driving was crushed almost to the floor by an out of control farm trailer. When the emergency services arrived they felt sure it was a fatality as they thought no-one could possibly have survived such a serious accident.

But survive he did which resulted in him spending the next eight months in Morriston hospital being treated for severe head and substantial physical injuries. Punk was left with a challenging range of disabilities including speech loss, and a substantial loss of movement in both his arms and legs.  At this point in his life Punk, his friends and family were unclear on how realistically it could be for Punk to have his needs met in an environment that Promoted Independent Living? 

Punk was originally discharged to a Nursing Home in the Gorseinon area of Swansea, which at the time was seen to offer the best environment for his recovery, and could cater for his range of disabilities. Although treated well it quickly became clear that Punk was becoming increasingly isolated and depressed due to the separation from his family and friends in Cardigan. It became a matter of urgency if Punk had any chance of making any sort of recovery finding Punk the right environment close to the town of Cardigan was paramount.

During the summer of 2012 in an effort to achieve this ultimate goal of living back in his home town with his friends & family Ceredigion County Council and Hywel Dda Health Board agreed to pursue and ultimately fund an apartment at Maes Mwldan, Family Housing Association’s new over 55s Extra Care scheme, in Cardigan Town Centre. If this could be achieved it would mean that Punk would have his own apartment, 24hr care and support and the space to adapt to a new way of life.

Tenants living within Maes Mwldan were initially unsure on their current accommodation opening their doors to younger people with complex care & support needs that were not under the umbrella of Older People. In consultation with Tenants these fears were alleviated very quickly resulting in Punk moving into Maes Mwldan with minimal distruption.

The drive, commitment and dedication through the dark days of both Punk and the Care & Support staff operating within the scheme have been inspirational, but has it all been worth it? Against all expectations Punk has proved his doubters wrong and regained much of his independence. He is now able to manage his own medication, use a laptop, attend a hectic schedule of classes which range from reading and speech therapy to swimming at a local hotel pool, and weight lifting at a local leisure facility.

Thus said Punk is under no illusion that there is a long way to go on his personal pursuit of maximising his recovery, and as such a fighter is now awaiting the completion of his new wheelchair adapted bungalow built next door to his former home.  Soon he will be leaving Maes Mwldan and is highly complementary on how Maes Mwldan and its staff have been a major part of his remarkable recovery, and feels that such an environment could be used more often for people in similar circumstances. 

A print on the wall of Punk’s apartment really summarises the range of challenges he has had to face, and reads “Take pride in how far you have come, and have faith in how far you can go.”

Matthew Monaghan Maes Mwldan Project Manager quotes:

“When I think about the challenges that lay in front of Punk I am amazed at how he has stayed so positive.  I can hardly remember an occasion when we have chatted that he hasn’t had a smile on his face and cracked a joke.

The staff team at Maes Mwldan have worked with Punk through thick and thin to help him get to where he is today.  No matter how difficult the challenge the staff remained enthusiastic and positive to help Punk stay motivated.  Each and every milestone Punk passed was celebrated with pride by the staff team; this helped to keep them solution focused & enthusiastic to succeed.

Punk’s positive attitude in such difficult circumstances combined with the love and support from his friends & family is truly inspiring and an example to us all.  I believe we can all take a lesson from the staff team at Maes Mwldan in how focusing on what you can do rather than what you can’t helps people achieve their goals and more.”

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    © Cymorth Cymru 2019
    Company Registration No: 5093332
    Charity No: 1116774