24

Apr 20

Life changed in an instant

DISABLED: Cheryl Parkinson and her son, Ben, who was severely injured when he fell from a roof in Christmas 2008. Picture: Marina Neil.CHERYL Parkinson was just starting to get ready for ‘‘life after the kids’’ when she and her husband Gary got the phone call that changed their lives forever.
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Their son, Ben, 23, had fallen from the roof of the old Newcastle post office building in Bolton Street, and was in hospital, severely injured.

It was Christmas 2008.

‘‘As a result, Ben has an acquired brain injury, he is in a wheelchair and requires care around the clock,’’ Ms Parkinson said.

Mrs Parkinson said that because Ben contributed to his own situation by climbing up to the roof of the disused post office, lawyers said there was little chance of compensation.

DISABLED: Cheryl Parkinson and her son, Ben, who was severely injured when he fell from a roof in Christmas 2008. Picture: Marina Neil.

She said Ben had $12,000 in superannuation but the family had been refused that money despite Ben’s ‘‘permanent incapacitation’’ making him eligible for an early payout.

Working with a company at The Junction called Newcastle Financial Planning, Ms Parkinson said Ben was able to access his superannuation to help with his care.

The company’s client manager, Elliot Watson, said the company had helped clients claim more than $7million in insurance money and early superannuation release since 2009.