Written by Todd Clarkson, DC Specialist, FNRC
12-weeks after loading on buses seated in melted or borrowed wheelchairs, accompanied by exhausted Alpine Residential staff for a multi hours-long caravan to Porterville Developmental Center, 8 of the 11 individuals are scheduled to return to Paradise. Porterville Developmental Center direct care and professional staff have shown themselves capable and dedicated. Many overtime shifts were needed. Within days of arrival, damaged wheelchairs were given new life by the creative PDC Occupational Therapy and Adaptive Equipment department staff. The Alpine residents’ arrival at PDC brought a new vibrancy to PDC’s Unit 29. The halls bustled with new sounds. PDC staff have grown fond of their guests. I’m told tears will be shed by staff having become accustomed to providing all aspects of daily care while enjoying new interactions.
As not all of the Alpine Residential homes survived the destruction, some will be moving back to a home they had not previously lived in, but all 8 will be reunited with Alpine Residential support persons who worked hard for their eventual return. By grace, two of the three original Alpine homes were spared. By grit, creativity, and a healthy amount of insurance money the remaining two homes are ready. The scenery just outside the homes’ windows has been forever changed, the last charred remnants of a staff person’s car was just hauled away this past Monday, but the comfort of being home will no doubt be amazing. Families unable to travel to see their loved ones due to distance will get to reunite.
Bob and Marna will be trekking south with nursing staff tomorrow and begin the packing and transitional meetings. The caravan home should be leaving PDC early in the morning on Friday. We wish them all safe travel and joyful return!