On the first night of James Nutt's "sentence" in an aged care facility, the 21-year-old dropped his head in his hands and cried.
"I thought to myself: 'I'm 21, I've got maybe 65 years left in my life and I'm forced to live here for the rest of it with no ability of ever getting out.'
"That's why I was sentenced," he told the aged care royal commission.
"I say sentenced because it felt like jail."
Mr Nutt was 19 when he was assaulted at a local football grand final after-party in a small NSW town in September 2003.
The attack left him with an acquired brain injury and paralysed from the waist down.
Friends visited during the 18 months he spent in hospital and rehabilitation.
But the visits stopped soon after his move into a nursing home.
"They could see the hell I'm going through, living where I'm living, seeing I don't feel like I've got anything left to live for," Mr Nutt said.
He became friends with the much-older residents, but would be shattered when they died.
"It was very soul destroying," Mr Nutt said.
Mr Nutt eventually managed to get out of aged care and into specialist disability accommodation.
The 35-year-old now lives independently, assisted each day by support workers funded through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
"I am in the driver's seat of my life," he said.
"If you had told the version of me in residential aged care 10 years ago, I don't think I would have believed this was possible, or even have comprehended the idea of what my life now is."
Life is also good for 33-year-old Kirby Littley now that she has been able to leave aged care.
She was miserable during her year there.
"I felt very isolated, lonely and mistreated," Ms Littley told the commission.
"The staff seemed to punish me if they were unhappy with me. They made me fell like I was a difficult resident because I had very high care needs."
Two strokes following a 2014 operation to remove a brain tumour left her with an acquired brain injury and initially unable to speak or move her arms and legs at all.
Backed every step of the way by her parents, Ms Littley was eventually able to move to the family home.
She now lives independently, with 24-hour support.
Carol Littley said her daughter had made incredible progress, even more so since moving into her home.
"We're very proud of what she's doing and the achievements. Five years ago we didn't know where she'd be, so it's amazing."
Mr Nutt, Ms Littley and 59-year-old Mario Amato, who spent three-and-a-half years in aged care, all had the same message for the royal commission.
"Younger people shouldn't be in aged care facilities," Mr Amato said.
Australian Associated Press