News

Deon battles disease as Centrelink stalls

Deon and Kirstie Palmer with their family Harrison and Cooper Dendle - Duroux and Harper Dendle - Palmer at Market Square Grafton on Saturday, 2nd January, 2016.
Deon and Kirstie Palmer with their family Harrison and Cooper Dendle - Duroux and Harper Dendle - Palmer at Market Square Grafton on Saturday, 2nd January, 2016. Debrah Novak

KIRSTIE Palmer can not understand why government agency Centrelink won't help her husband Deon as he battles the debilitating effects of cystic fibrosis.

"We got denied (for a disability allowance) the first time in September so we put in a counter claim," Kirstie said.

"We've been waiting since September to see if they will accept it or not.

"It's just ridiculous, they can't even tell us why it hasn't gone through.

"We had to have an interview with a government doctor and even he said he had no idea why he had to do this.

"I just don't understand."

Deon was diagnosed with the chronic illness when he was just 19 but he has lived as normal a life as possible.

Despite his health issues he was able to work a part-time job at the Clocktower Hotel.

This year however his health has deteriorated, forcing him to spend more and more time in Brisbane's Prince Charles Hospital, and less time with his three young children.

Kirstie travels from Grafton to Brisbane frequently to support her husband but the time off work is putting further strain on the family.

"It's frustrating to have to worry about finances, we have enough things to worry about now," she said.

"We know we're not the worst off people in the world but we have worked and paid our taxes and now when we need help from the government they're not helping.

"We are very lucky we have had a lot of family and community support or we would have to sell our house if we couldn't pay the mortgage."

Kirstie has been approved for a carer's payment which she said will go some way towards providing some stability.

Deon is home now after spending the past month in hospital after undergoing surgery to help clear a reflux condition that was causing aspiration pneumonia and further damage to his lungs.

"We got back Thursday afternoon so it's good to have him home," Kirstie said.

"He is looking forward to spending some quality time with the kids."

Deon is currently waiting to find out if he will be eligible for a lung transplant.

His sputum is undergoing genetic testing in the UK to determine his eligibility but a bacterial infection is hindering his chances.

The next trip for Deon is a clinic appointment in Brisbane, which will determine whether he returns home or remains in hospital.

On top of the trips to hospital, Deon must undergo a daily routine of airway clearance, regular doses of medication, light exercise and percussion on his back.

"It's a pretty busy schedule fitting it all in," Kirstie said.

"After this operation we are hoping his pneumonia will cease and should ease off some of his trouble with his lungs.

"He is sitting at about 32% which is pretty good.

"He was on 26% at one stage.

"It's full on but we're positive and try and pass on the goodwill when we can."

Topics:  centrelink cystic fibrosis



Top Pub raise a glass to Lower Clarence's revival

CHEERS TO THAT: Lower Clarence Magpies' captain-coach Dan Randall with new club sponsors, managers of the Maclean Hotel Zoe Jamieson and Mark Kirkland.

"If we can contribute to getting them on the field ... that's great”

Pauline Hanson calls Trump protesters "clowns"

 Thousands rally in support of equal rights, in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Hundreds of rallies are due to take place in over 30 countries around the world following the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

“Don’t these clowns have anything else better to do?"

Spectacular photos as storm hits

Storm at Harwood Bridge.

Strong winds and rain hit Lower Clarence

Local Partners

Lifeguards commended after rescuing eight at Pippi

Lifeguards Harry Fahey and Mikey Gilliman talk about their 'textbook rescue' of eight swimmers while on patrol at Pippi Beach


Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

5 things to do this weekend

Lower Clarence Relay for Life Swim

Looking for something to do this weekend?

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

JADA goes to the nation

RELIABLE: Shannon Piddock and Troy Sievers from S&D Welch Transport pick up the 2016 JADA artworks to take back to the depot for loading onto its specialist transport.

Clarence promotes its art by the truckload

Festival director joins stars at Sundance

ACTION: Wendy Gibbs, director of the Bent Bridge Film Festival, before heading off to the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

Rubbing shoulders with celebrities at film festival

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Positive signs for Clarence Valley property market

Yamba had the most expensive units and houses over the year to October.

Yamba houses sell for median of $500,000 each

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Rates safe from land value hike

DRIVING GROWTH: The Pacific Highway upgrade has been linked to improved land values.

Figures up in latest valuer-general report

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!