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katy cannock

Katy lives at Fir Tree Court, one of our supported living flat schemes in Cannock, and has shared her story with us to help others learn from her experience.

Her story begins when she was 13, and became friendly with a group of older people who introduced Katy to drugs, which led her towards addiction.

At this time Katy also struggled with an eating disorder and, believing the drugs would help her stay thin, lost so much weight she was only able to wear children’s clothes.

Immense distress

By age 14, Katy was starting to play truant from school, to meet up with her older friends. She lied to her parents and on occasions would run away from home, causing immense distress to her parents who felt they had no option but to call the police.

Katy’s mum tried to get Katy to accept help, and Katy did agree to attend drugs counselling sessions at school.

However, she was unable to accept that she was an addict, and the downward spiral would soon begin again; at times her condition was so serious that on several occasions she was admitted to hospital.

Turning her life around

At 15 Katy started to turn her life around and following a year spent in foster care, she returned home and to her studies and secured a Distinction in health and social care. Outside of college was a different story though and Katy fell back into her old habits, culminating in a stroke at age 17 which resulted in severe brain damage.

With little hope of recovery, Katy was put into an induced coma in hospital. On regaining consciousness, she was unable to walk, eat or talk and over the next seven years began an extensive period of rehabilitation and physiotherapy. With hard work and perseverance, she has regained some of her speech and is now able to eat with support.

As a result of the progress Katy had made, it was felt she would benefit by moving from her rehabilitation unit into a supported living service and so she made the move to Fir Tree Court.

Living independently

At Fir Tree Court, Katy has been supported to live independently, sustain her own tenancy and has been able to make some positive lifestyle changes which has helped to improve her overall health and wellbeing.

This June Katy reached a milestone – her 30th birthday. She celebrated by going shopping with her support team, followed by a birthday gathering at the service with friends and family.

Katy still has a number of goals that she wants to achieve while living at Fir Tree Court including swimming, going to the cinema and theatre and continuing her studies at college.

Lisa Harvey, scheme manager at Fir Tree Court said, “Katy is an extraordinary young individual who is full of life with a strong desire to try new things and learn new skills so she can remain as independent as possible. Her support team love to work with her and encourage her every day to help her find the confidence and self-belief to reach her goals and dreams.”


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

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