After spending three years and eight months in an aged care facility, Mario Amato managed to leave and move in to his own unit.
"It's like I've got a new life, I've been born again," Mr Amato said on Monday, when he welcomed the government's commitment to remove younger people with disabilities like him from aged care facilities by 2025.
According to the National Disability Insurance Agency, 51 younger people with disabilities lived in aged care facilities in September this year. They are set to benefit from the announcement, which formed part of the government's response to the damning interim report from the royal commission into the aged care system.
No new younger people will enter an aged care facility by 2022, and no people under 65 will be in aged care by 2025, under the promise. The government has also pledged to remove those under 45 from aged care by 2022.
"It's not a place for young people," Mr Amato told The Canberra Times.
"The older people were deeply depressed and frustrated. They were cared for not too badly, but they just wanted to get out all the time."
Mr Amato ended up in the facility aged 55 after acquiring frontal lobe brain damage when he hit his head while experiencing a grand mal seizure related to epilepsy.
The older people were deeply depressed and frustrated. They were cared for not too badly, but they just wanted to get out all the time.Mario Amato
He had been in a mental health facility and struggled with managing his type 1 diabetes when the seizure happened. It was decided that he couldn't make his own decisions or manage his condition and he should live in an aged care facility, as there was no other accommodation available in Canberra.
But Mr Amato described the facility as being like a jail - even though he wasn't mistreated, he was surrounded by people at least 20 years older than him, struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's at the end of their lives.
While Mr Amato wanted to talk about Pink Floyd, his love of the Carlton Football Club and go on dates with his new partner, he was forced to stay at the facility, with little freedom and few friends.
"I'm an outgoing person so it wasn't difficult [to make friends]," Mr Amato told the royal commission in September, even though the elderly people there only wanted to talk about Mozart or the two World Wars.
"Most of the people would die. There was at least one death a week, which would make me more depressed being there."
He was only able to leave after a fight from his guardians and a new neurological assessment that found he had capacity to make his own decisions. Mr Amato also had to prove that he could administer his own insulin.
When Mr Amato told the Royal Commission about his life now, his face lit up, describing how he regained his driving license, is again working as a tax accountant and has a good relationship with his two children.
"It's fantastic. I've got a job, I drive a car now, I have my own home because I bought one. Things have improved out of sight. I have a girlfriend now, which I couldn't in the nursing home. We go out a lot, I enjoy life."
For his 60th birthday next year, Mr Amato is planning a trip to Italy with his partner.