A devoted wife has been advised by Centrelink to divorce her husband of more than 20 years as he suffers through a devastating stroke.

Wayne Mitchell, a former PDHPE teacher and a man who held a passion for sport, has been left unable to walk and talk after suffering from a stroke in August.

Requiring round the clock care, the 55-year-old is forced to live in a nursing home which is proving to be a huge expense for his family.


Photo: A Current Affair

Sitting down with A Current Affair, Colleen Mitchell said the government has recommended a divorce from her husband, so he can be eligible to receive the pension.

“I’ve been told it would be cheaper to divorce, he’d go on a pension,” said Colleen.

If Colleen decided to proceed with the divorce, Wayne will be entitled to complete care from the federal government as he would be a single disabled person.

Due to the tragic circumstances, Colleen is considering taking the advice given even though she loves her husband dearly.



Photo: A Current Affair

The family have attempted to get through to Centrelink to request funding for Wayne’s condition but due to the couple owning a home, their requests have been denied due to the house being considered an asset.

According to Colleen, she either divorces her husband or has to look into selling her home, which she shares with her daughter in order to cover the costs of nursing home care.

“There’s no way he’d be saying, sell up, because I would have nowhere to live,” she said.

But despite the struggles the family is currently facing, Colleen says divorcing her husband is an option she doesn’t want to take.

“We’ve been together for 22 years, so that would be the last thing I would want to do but if it comes down to it,” she said.

The family created a Go Fund Me page in October to help raise money for a facility that hopes to help young stroke survivors that require the level of assistance only provided in residential care.

“On the 27th of August 2018, my 55-year-old father (Wayne) suffered a major Basal Ganglia Haemorrhagic Stroke,” wrote Wayne’s daughter on the Go Fund Me page.

“The original prognosis was that he would not survive the original bleed given its severity. He has pulled through, although it is still a long road of rehab and recovery.”

Since the page went up, they have received over $25,000 worth of donations.

“We want to create a residential care facility specialising in direct support for young stroke and ABI and TBI survivors or any young person who has been put into the situation of requiring 24-hour support,” the page read.

“Being cared for around other young people, can provide more mental stimulation and promote rehab, healing and interactions.”

 Article created in partnership with Over60

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