News

Community rallies to get Garry home

Roma man Garry Alexander and his family hope to raise enough funds so he can return home.
Roma man Garry Alexander and his family hope to raise enough funds so he can return home.

WHATEVER time Garry Alexander has left on earth he wants to spend it surrounded by friends, family and the land he loves.

The Roma man was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2007.

Over the past six years, the incurable disease has slowly taken its toll on his now 37-year-old body.

He is now currently in the critical care ward at the Toowoomba Hospital connected to a machine that provides a flow of air to his lungs, via a tracheostomy. But it is not where he wants to be.

"Garry's wish is to be at home as it is my wish," wife Kylie Alexander said.

The relatively simple notion of returning home, however, comes with a multitude of problems for Garry and his family, not least the financial strain.

"Times will be demanding and home ventilation of a patient with motor neurone disease is rarely heard of in Australia let alone a rural community," Mrs Alexander said.

"So Garry is a first for many services, hospitals and organisations.

"But without firsts there are not precedents.

"I firmly believe palliative care needs to be advocated in rural communities and those who wish to be at home, can be, with their families and with quality of life."

The family is now appealing for a helping hand to "get Garry home".

A Facebook page has been set up for the dedicated father and country man.

The Alexander family (back) Kylie and her husband Garry with their children Hayley, Tom, Brendan. Garry has motor neurone disease. His friends and family have launched an appeal so he can spend his final days at home, surrounded by his family. December 2012. Contributed
The Alexander family (back) Kylie and her husband Garry with their children Hayley, Tom, Brendan. Garry has motor neurone disease. His friends and family have launched an appeal so he can spend his final days at home, surrounded by his family. December 2012. Contributed

Already the group has 1650 members and raised over $5000.

Some people have donated money, other medical equipment, all of it has overwhelmed the Alexander family.

"It is all very humbling," Mrs Alexander said.

"The support that is being offered emotionally and physically is beyond our comprehension and continues to blow us away.

"Garry, who had never touched Facebook before, has become a convert and is watching the progress with disbelief.

"It brings him to tears regularly as he watches all the well wishes from people he doesn't even know."

Toowoomba Hospital medical services executive director Dr Peter Gillies said hospital staff members were working with the family to cater to Mr Alexander's needs.

"Patients with a progressive, neurological condition are not kept long term," Dr Gillies said.

"No definite time limits have been put in place (as to when Mr Alexander will have to leave the hospital), but we are in discussion of how to manage and provide care for his terminal, progressive condition."

More information about how to help the Alexander family can be found on the open Facebook page Bring Garry Alexander Home.

"It is not known how long Garry has left, but whatever that time is he wants to spend at home," Mrs Alexander said.

Motor Neurone Disease facts

  • Motor neurone disease is a condition that is present in approximately 1400 people in Australia.
  • Primarily because as one person is diagnosed another looses their battle.
  • It is usually present in the older generation, but does affect some as young as 17 years.
  • There is no known cure and death is usually failure of the muscles around the lungs.

Topics:  motor neurone disease, roma, toowoomba, toowoomba hospital




Sentencing in "complex" live-baiting case pushed back

A protester outside Ipswich courthouse where Tom Noble will be sentenced on animal cruelty charges.

Racing identity Tom Noble to learn his fate next Tuesday

Trusted Ipswich GP's emotional exit after 40 years

NEW LIFE AHEAD: Dr John Jackson of Grange Road Medical Centre is retiring.

Dr Jackson has never kissed so many women

Explained: What are those two extra bright evening 'stars'?

Kingaroy astronomer James Barclay captured these images of Venus and Jupiter appearing low and bright in the sky this month.

The two stars you are seeing around sunset aren't stars at all.

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


This week's community billboard

Want to get involved in gardening? The Glebe Rd Uniting Church Garden Club meets first Saturday of each month.

Toastmaster, Tai Chi, Scouts, the Men's Shed and more

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m