Client Spotlight: Andrew

Andrew joined the Navy at the age of 18 in September 1980, as a senior seaman steward on a submarine. He fought in the Middle East, Pakistan, and the Timor conflict in 1982, and travelled to Hawaii, Vanuatu, Singapore, Hong Kong, and all around Australia.

Due to a back problem, he was medically released in April 1993, and when discharged, he undertook a two-year rehabilitation program. He signed up to NSW Fishing in the shark net program, where he stayed full time but, due to debilitating pain, is now on chronic pain medication and suffers from PTSD.

Our Founder LeeArn first met Andrew when she spotted what she thought was a Shetland pony inside a shopping centre in Mudgeeraba! Realising it was in fact just a large shaggy dog, she got talking to the owner.

Banjo – the dog wearing the jacket that LeeArn had mistaken for a small horse – is in fact Andrew’s service dog; his anxiety and depression guide dog.

As they got talking, LeeArn learnt that Andrew was a Navy veteran and heard his story. She told him she was a nurse who looks after veterans in the community – to which Andrew replied “Can you look after me?”

Since this meeting, Andrew has become part of the Velan Health family, and our regular visits to him and beautiful Banjo are just a small part of the story. We help Andrew 3-4 times a week to look after himself, providing both clinical & wellness visits – and of course a friendly face.

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