One ordinary morning in January 2014, 26-year-old Chrys Barker waved to his dad and drove away from his family home. Instead of being home for dinner as expected, he was hit by a drunk driver in an accident that killed his cousin Bobby and put him in intensive care for 26 days after he was revived at the scene of the accident. He was left with severe brain injuries and his parents, Betty and Allan, fighting for a way to keep him cared for at home rather than accepting a $3 million offer to keep him in a care facility.
Equity Trustees met the family in 2017 after being introduced by Shine Lawyers, who were acting for the Barkers, and supported preparations for the court case that ultimately resulted in a personal injury insurance settlement of $20 million – believed to be the largest such payout to date.
In accordance with the settlement terms, Equity Trustees now manages all financial matters for Chrys, leaving the family to focus on caring for him. This includes weekly allowances to the household, direct payment of all medical expenses, liaison with NDIS, and adjustments to the family home to accommodate Chrys and his large wheelchair. Recently, this also included a much-needed family holiday to the Gold Coast.
Chrys is showing signs of improvement thanks to being safe and cared for in familiar environs – including working hard to learn to write again – and Equity Trustees, like his parents, will never give up on making sure Chrys’ life is the best it can be.
Watch Chrys's story presented by ABC on 7.30 with Leigh Sales