Meet the Residents


Heidi was admitted to Woodside when she was 7 months old, and has grown with the changes in the staff and set-up of the facility over the years. She has hydrocephalus and epilepsy, resulting in all of her developmental milestones being delayed. She was progressing well, but at the age of 5 years she had a mild ‘stroke’ which left her without movement on her right side. After years of therapy she regained movement and some control in what she does. It is difficult know how much of her surroundings Heidi is understanding and conceptualising, but she remains highly alert and always responds with beautiful smiles and giggles when tickled or interacted with.


Bianca is a young lady with cerebral palsy and has the associated disorders of moderate intellectual disability and epilepsy. She was admitted to Woodside Special Care Centre at a young age, and was fortunate to attend a specialised school until her teenage years. Since then, she was also fortunate to be donated motorised wheelchairs. This may seem like a simple addition to her life, but for Bianca this means the world. Her motorised wheelchair provides her a level of independence few are fortunate to experience, and great purpose and value has been added to her life as a result.


Ricardo is a young man with cerebral palsy and associated severe intellectual disability. Both of his parents passed away a number of years ago, thus Ricardo was placed under Woodside’s care to become his new family. A great recent highlight for Ricardo was when he celebrated his 21st birthday – with full initiative, the carers in his ward organised a celebratory party for him and his friends – complete with cake, many snacks, a new outfit and presents – as any ‘family’ would. Physically, Ricardo has also progressed significantly since admission, learning to crawl, kneel and explore his spaces more independently when he spends time out of his wheelchair.


Daniel is one of Woodside’s oldest residents, diagnosed with cerebral palsy and associated intellectual disability. Daniel’s cognitive abilities are higher than a number of other residents at Woodside, but expressive communication and physical mobility are great challenges for him. He is well-loved by staff and enjoys daily banter and jokes, making his understanding and personality clear through his emotional reactions, although he can not participate verbally in this. He makes his preferences clear through head movements, and staff members enjoy giving him these simple opportunities to make choices for himself. Daniel is fortunate to have the support of his family members, who fetch him to spend some weekends at home for special occasions.


Siya is a teenage boy with profound intellectual disability and moderate cerebral palsy. Upon admission, Siya adapted remarkably to his environment and was welcomed into the activity and stimulation programmes, as well as individual occupational therapy sessions. Initially, he was observed to be very apprehensive and anxious when engaging in activities, shying away from interactions and toys offered to him. However, with the staff’s sensitive, patient and optimistic approach towards him, Siya has become excited to be involved and has developed a charming exploratory nature during these playtimes. On a physical level, Siya has improved as well, following the opportunity to have orthopaedic surgery. His mobility in crawling and kneeling is getting stronger and Woodside is optimistic about further improvements in this regard.