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Barry Allen

Barry in the rehabilitation unit

Barry is a Gomilaroi man and one of eight children. He grew up around the Tamworth area, working on the land from a young age.

Leaving school at 14, Barry left to go cattle droving. Barry went droving cattle around the Spring Ridge, Gunnedah and Quirindi area until he was about 21 years old.

From there Barry went to work as a station hand on a number of properties across the area. He moved around a fair bit working in places like Nyngan, Dubbo & Cobar and did various jobs as a station hand including fencing, welding, cattle work, mustering, and lots of work on horseback. Barry was a pretty good horseman.

Barry’s kidneys soon became sick and he wasn’t able to work. His youngest sister also had trouble with her kidneys. Eventually Barry ended up in hospital and had to go onto dialysis. After this, he was well for a while.

Then in 2017, Barry had his first admission to the rehabilitation unit. That year Barry was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He had to have an operation to remove the cancer. Barry had become a bit deconditioned and needed to rebuild his muscles and strength. His doctor at the time recommended that Barry attend rehabilitation to get him walking and moving again.  He was in rehab for about three months.

This is Barry’s second time in rehabilitation. In August 2020, Barry had to have his leg removed below the knee as a result of his diabetes. Barry has had diabetes for a long time now and has had a few complications because of it. Barry has also had to have a few fingers and toes removed too. He has been in the rehab unit for four to five months now.

The first time Barry came to the rehab unit he was a bit worried as he didn’t know what to expect. Once he settled in it was good and he likes being there now. The people are kind and caring. He feels comfortable and safe in the unit. Barry said, "The nurses are the best! They are very helpful with showering, going to the toilet, helping put you to bed and get you out of bed."

Barry said the physios are good too. They are helping with exercises and standing and the occupational therapists are helpful with the paperwork.

Barry’s three messages to people coming to rehab

  • Rehab is good, it gets you on your feet and moving!
  • Nursing and allied health people are nice and caring
  • Not to worry, the staff explain everything to you.

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