Teenage and Young Person Provision

Young members guest blog - Daniella Reynard

You are taken from a warm safe environment in the comfort of your mother’s tummy, into a world of society and independence, where people have the ability to appear to be ‘normal’. An average baby being born gets checked over and wrapped up in a soft, warm blanket and positioned into their mother’s arms.

But you are not a average baby - suddenly the world around you moves uncontrollably fast and furious, lights shinning, alarm bells buzzing and doors flipping open and shut. You see with your tiny, wide eyes all these faces staring at you with puzzled, worried looks on their faces. You are suddenly lying in your cot, surrounded by tubes and wires and desperately fighting for your life, which has only just began.

This is not the life you wanted, the life you dreamed of or the life your parents wanted. But you have no choice, they have no choice, you fought your way into this big weird world, and you need to keep going, they too must keep going.

Every day seems like it’s going to be a challenging one, some are eventful and happy then some are uneventful and sad. Some days you might struggle and may find it takes you ages to complete something, but with your parent’s patience and love you complete your task and find the motivation inside yourself. You have to finish every day with a smile on your face, knowing that you have tried to accomplish something, whether you succeed or not. Everyone around you, are proud and amazed by your incredible journey already and the strength that you use to combat the hurdles along the way.

Now I would be lying if I said you and your loved ones wouldn’t have any dark and gloomy periods. You may find people staring at you, saying things that are not that nice, and when you are growing into a young adult and becoming confused with your life, you find a constant frustration with understanding the meaning of natural beauty! There’s the disappointment of not being able to wear those gorgeous flip flops like your friends. You are constantly seeing the stares, hearing the whispers with people watching and judging you. Just opening your bottle of water causes you to feel self aware and all you feel you can do is fall into a heap of depression. Yes you can cry, maybe drown your sorrows, get angry, scream, shout and give up! If you think it will help?? I thought it would, sometimes I still do, but I am learning to believe that I was born into this world as I am. I am nobody else.

I have learnt through Headlines that it is not just me. There are many people living with a need some even more greater than mine. I should be grateful for my life, my function I have in my fingers and the ability I have to lead a normal life. To be able to write, pick up things, dress myself and even after a lot of determination and practicing, doing up my laces and doing my own hair. I have found that I have the power to be extreme and try out new skills like skiing, go-karting, scuba diving, sailing and driving a manual car. I think that is pretty good for someone who was born with fused fingers!

My philosophy is that adaptation is important for any life from the start. Every one has challenges, not just me, or people like me and it’s being positive and realistic that has helped me. My loved ones will continue to try their ultimate best to support and motivate me. My family tried a variety of activities - putting smarties in front of me to make me crawl and moving them further to motivate me, cello-taping spoons to my fused hands so I can feed myself, sitting and waiting until I could pick up small objects like keys or just their constant voice saying ‘Yes you can do it and NEVER give up!” after I screamed and shouted that “I can’t”

My family and hospital family were there to help me live and reach my full potential as yours can help you.

So as I finish, I would like to wish all the Headlines families’ good luck in the future and go out fighting like you were born to be here!

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