Trevor Boone waits 25 years to feel seawater wash over his toes again

A quarter of a century is a long time to wait for Clayfield man Trevor Boone to dip his toes into the ocean again.

The 53-year-old, who was born with spina bifida, could not navigate his way across the sand to the ocean on his own but now he has a helper.

Trevor Boone has finally been able to return to the beach after 25 years. Photo: Supplied by Trevor Boone. 

Trevor Boone has finally been able to return to the beach after 25 years. Photo: Supplied by Trevor Boone. 

Mr Boone’s muscles had been slowly deteriorating for years.

“Even simple things like cooking and cleaning in the house was getting too much. I was relying on cooking very simple meals and my social life was suffering," he said.

“The doctor said I was a bit malnourished and lacking vitamin D and she said the best way to get some was to go to the beach.”

But that was something Mr Boone could not do alone.

“It was hard for me to get around on the sand with a caliper [leg brace], but when the [National Disability Insurance Scheme] came through I was able to get some help and a support worker could go with me and carry things for me and help me actually get onto the beach.

“One of the things Australia is famous for is its beaches so it is a big thing to be able to experience them."

And after a 25-year wait, Queensland's beaches did not disappoint.

“It was fantastic. The wind blowing on my skin and I even got to go into the water with my crutches and to feel the water on my feet," Mr Boone said.

“It was something else.

“To get that fresh and the sea water, the whole experience is just excellent. The first thing I thought was a definitely have to do this more."

Since that first trip in late November, Mr Boone has visited Byron Bay and Mudjimba Beach four times.

“Before the NDIS came through, I thought it was going to be a really hard road ahead," he said.

“I think it is great because I get to go to the beach, but it is so much more than that.

"It is getting me access to physiotherapy so I am able to build up my strength and support to prepare more nutritious meals and lose weight.

“It would have been so much more difficult without that support. The beach is a significant [milestone]  but it is just one aspect."

Once fully implemented, the NDIS is estimated to support about 91,000 people with disability in Queensland and about 460,000 people nationally.

But its national rollout has not been smooth sailing.

Disability advocates

with problems, including frustrating delays and poor coordination.

Almost three in four service providers have said systems and processes are not working well, a National Disability Services survey found.

This story Trevor Boone waits 25 years to feel seawater wash over his toes again first appeared on Brisbane Times.