JOYFUL: Ivy and Barney Hensley playing on the jumping castle.
JOYFUL: Ivy and Barney Hensley playing on the jumping castle.

Government bonus brings undescribable joy to family

A SMALL, simple party favourite has made self-isolation a whole lot better for one Central Queensland resident.

Ivy Hensley, 20, hasn’t been able to stop smiling and laughing since her family bought her a jumping castle with the $750 disability pension bonus.

Ivy was born with Angelman Syndrome, a genetic condition that primarily affects the nervous system.

She can’t talk, she has profound intellectual impairment, balance disorders, impulsive disorders and epilepsy, “but has a very, very happy, excitable personality”.

Mum of four Nina Hensley said Ivy, her only daughter, has been in full time care at Multicap in Brisbane since she finished school.

“They are involved in all sorts of community activities, they go yachting, have craft days, social outings to the park, she was in a choir,” she said.

Although Multicap was one of the best places for her, Ivy was brought home to the 120,000 acre cattle property near Clermont when the coronavirus pandemic started and forced many into isolation.

“I was really concerned that the boredom would result in destruction and self-harming,” Mrs Hensley said.

“So it was really important to bring her home where there are more things to do.”

Ivy prefers to spend her time around people, at shopping centres and markets, but has found enjoyment in the sand gully’s, mud, picnic lunches and swims in the dam.

“She’s missing the social stimulation so much, and with no intellectual understanding, there’s no way of explaining why this is happening,” Mrs Hensley said.

Although her face has been full of smiles since they brought home a four-metre squared jumping castle on Thursday, just in time for the Easter weekend.

“She is loving it, she just wants to be out there all the time now,” Mrs Hensley said.

“It’s definitely making isolation a bit more bearable for her.

“She’s smiling and laughing, and her laugh is so infectious, you just can’t help but to laugh along with her.”

Mrs Hensley shared a video of Ivy on the jumping castle with her younger brother Barney to the Clermont Community Group Facebook page, when a number of community members asked how she was.

The video was full of laughter and has since received more than 150 likes and 45 comments.

Laura Crichton: This almost brought tears to my eyes watching Ivy laughing and enjoying her jumping castle so much. What a wonderful idea and it’s money well invested.

Shontae Moran: How beautiful is this! On so many levels.

Rhonwen Jean Tighe: This is heart warming! So good to hear that happiness!

The one-off $750 payment was part of the Federal Government’s coronavirus economic stimulus package.

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