Ross Applegate

Ross got a second chance at life…and Alternatives has helped him make the most of it.

When Ross was nine years old, undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes caused him to go into a coma. He almost died. When Ross regained consciousness 10 days later, his life had changed forever. He was left with a permanent brain injury that affects his ability to make decisions.

The years since then haven’t been easy for Ross. While he could focus on how much he lost, Ross decided he’d rather concentrate on how much he has to be grateful for. In the three years since he joined Alternatives’ Employment Program in Wrentham, Ross has had the chance to improve his life, and make a difference for others.

Ross’s work supervisor at Alternatives helped him find a job working part-time at Nicky’s, a local restaurant. It’s been a perfect fit.

“The people at the restaurant are friendly and relaxed and they keep me really busy,” Ross says. In addition to washing dishes, he helps keep the restaurant clean and is learning to do some food preparation. “I really enjoy it.”

Ross has also spent time volunteering weekly with two elderly people in a hospice program. He kept them company and read to them. Although this was hard, it made Ross feel good to know that he helped make their last months a little better.

With Alternatives support, Ross has built a life he’s proud of. “Believe me,” he says. “It’s a great feeling!”