You may not know this part of my history because I don't talk about it often, but as a five year old crossing the road with my sister I suddenly found myself unable to walk, my legs paralysed. After initially insisting I stop mucking around, she soon realised there was something seriously wrong with me. Then began my parents' battle to get the doctors to agree.
When it was finally established that I was suffering Guillain barre syndrome, a rare neurological disease, my long road to recovery began. In fact, not only would I spend what was supposed to be my first year of school in hospital, I would then spend the rest of my childhood working hard to catch up physically.
A major illness at that age is a major disruption. Energy normally directed toward learning is instead directed toward healing. It took quite some time before I could walk normally without a frame again. I got there through sheer determination and I fought off any bullies with my words because I sure as hell couldn't put up a fight any other way.
Sport became a big part of my life because physical rehabilitation was a necessity, and I also learnt to do everything I could to avoid catching a virus because that was considered a trigger for the disease. You could say I know the damage a virus can cause, but the reason I'm sharing this story with you today is not to scare you into taking covid19 seriously (although you should). Instead, I'm encouraging everyone to support the amazing work physiotherapists do in hospitals for children because I've been there.
By donating to Detective Chief Inspector Garry Sim's Play Doh Appeal (Hawkesbury LAC) you are helping reduce the developmental impact of childhood illness. Children will be able to have a playful experience, and staff will be able to replace it after every use so as to maintain much needed hygiene. Please give generously to the Westmead Children's Hospital Play Doh Appeal. Donations are accepted in Hawkesbury area until the end of august.